Linnea Labbee outside the Chilliwack Law Courts on April 1, 2021 on day 16 of her trial in BC Supreme Court where she is charged in connection with the fatal hit-and-run of a 78-year-old woman on Mary Street on Dec. 1, 2016. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

Linnea Labbee outside the Chilliwack Law Courts on April 1, 2021 on day 16 of her trial in BC Supreme Court where she is charged in connection with the fatal hit-and-run of a 78-year-old woman on Mary Street on Dec. 1, 2016. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

Woman on trial for Chilliwack fatal hit-and-run called an ‘unreliable and incredible’ witness by Crown

Trial full of bizarre moments and contradictory statements by 72-year-old Linnea Labbee is now over

The trial of Linnea Labbee charged in the fatal hit-and-run that caused the death of a 78-year-old woman in 2016 wrapped up in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Tuesday (April 6).

“I feel very bad for this family your honour, I really do,” the 72-year-old Labbee said near the end of her final submissions. “But I was not driving the truck.”

Labbee is charged with one count of failing to stop at an accident causing bodily harm for an incident on Dec. 1, 2016 at the intersection of Mary Street and Patten Avenue.

Fourghozaman Firoozian, who was the victim of a 2016 hit-and-run, seen here handing out food to the less fortunate downtown Chilliwack.

There is little doubt that it was Labbee’s truck that killed 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian who was in a marked crosswalk when she was struck by the vehicle.

READ MORE: Crown questions credibility of defendant in Chilliwack fatal hit-and-run case

READ MORE: 73-year-old Chilliwack woman charged in fatal hit-and-run defending herself in BC Supreme Court

Labbee’s credibility was questioned by Crown counsel Joe Saulnier in his final submissions due, in part, to the fact that her claims were either hearsay or not backed up by any witness testimony. Much of what Labbee reported on the witness stand herself was contradictory, some even nonsensical.

“She was an unreliable and incredible witness and her testimony should be rejected in its entirety,” Saulnier told the court.

Labbee’s testimony was that she drove to Southgate Shopping Centre on Yale Road in the morning of Dec. 1, 2016, and that she spent the whole day in the plaza or in adjacent stores in the area.

But Saulnier pointed out that Labbee was first seen on security footage at Southgate at 12:21 p.m., four minutes after the hit-and-run just over a block away. And Labbee withdrew money from her bank account at the CIBC on the corner of Young Road and Princess Avenue at 12:11 p.m., just six minutes before Firoozian was struck and killed.

At the shopping plaza she went into many of the shops, sometimes multiple times. Saulnier suggested this was to try to give herself an alibi, but all witnesses and security footage put her in the location after 12:21 p.m.

As she presented the court with final submissions, Labbee made many nonsensical claims that confounded Justice Brown, including that there were two men who looked different but went by the same name, William McCaulay, who gave different testimony at the preliminary inquiry and the trial. This was simply not true.

“There is no evidence that there is a Mr. McCaulay that testified at the preliminary inquiry,” Justice Brown responded. “He was not available and he did not testify.”

Then there was Labbee’s claim that the “crashing” sound witnesses heard when the victim was struck and killed could not have been from a pedestrian being struck “it had to be done by hitting something big.”

“I believe with all my heart that the grey truck was driving along the road and the blue truck was driving along the road in opposite directions,” she said. “I think they were watching each other and no one was watching the pedestrian. The blue truck and the grey truck hit and the pedestrian got caught in the middle.”

There is no evidence other vehicles were involved in any collision in the area at the time. That and Labbee’s truck not only was missing part of its grill, which was found at the scene, but Firoozian’s DNA was found on her vehicle.

Earlier, Labbee suggested her truck must have been stolen from Southgate, was involved in the fatal hit-and-run, and then was returned to the same parking spot. She repeatedly referred to a “native girl” who was hanging around the parking lot, a slur Justice Brown put and end to on the final day of the trial.

“The ethnicity of this woman has nothing to do with anything,” Brown told Labbee. “Referring to her in that fashion is racist and pejorative.”

But one of the most bizarre moments in the trial was when, on April 1, after several days of claiming she had witnesses to call to the stand but who she could not get a hold of, she finally gave a phone number of one of the witnesses to Justice Brown. The court clerk dialed the number provided, and then Saulnier pointed out that a phone could be heard vibrating in Labbee’s purse.

Labbee then denied her phone was on.

Justice Brown is scheduled to render her decision of guilty or not guilty on April 12 at 11 a.m. If found guilty, the sentence for the crime could range from a conditional sentence up to several years in prison.


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
editor@theprogress.com

@PeeJayAitch
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Supreme Courtfatal collision

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse holds vials of AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 during a vaccination campaign at WiZink indoor arena in Madrid, Spain, Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Manu Fernandez
Hope residents 40 and older can now get vaccinated at participating pharmacies

Remedy’s RX pharmacist said the response from the public was immediate following announcement

Future Finlandia Lion Ian Heagy with his biggest fan, mom Jen Heagy. (submitted photo)
Chilliwack hockey player Ian Heagy defies the odds to land at Finlandia

Having never played a minute of rep, Heagy is making the jump from house to NCAA Div 2 hockey

The Abbotsford Centre has the ability to host AHL level games if the Vancouver Canucks or any other NHL team chose to move its affiliate to the arena. (File photo)
Abbotsford Centre ready for AHL if right opportunity presents itself

Building recently upgraded glass and boards, schedule would allow for AHL tenant

In 2012, police in Abbotsford placed surveillance cameras near the Dhaliwal home in the 2500 block of Bradner Road after there were two drive-by shootings in the area. Harb Dhaliwal, 31, has now been identified as the victim of a fatal shooting April 17 in Vancouver. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Abbotsford man named as victim of fatal weekend shooting in Vancouver

Harpreet Dhaliwal, 31, killed outside of Cardero’s restaurant in Coal Harbour

Joudelie King wants to get out and live life to the fullest, but there are places she can’t go because they don’t meet her accessibility needs. (submitted photo)
New online tool provides accessibility map for people with disabilities

The myCommunity BC map provides accessibility info for nearly 1,000 locations in the province

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

A man has died after being shot at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park the evening of Monday, April 19. (Twitter/IHIT)
1 man dead after shooting at Coquitlam park: IHIT

The gunman is still at large, according to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
B.C. health authority seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

Chakalaka Bar and Grill plans to continue serving customers without public health compliance

Most Read