Suspect in 2017 cyclist hit-and-run captured on video dies before trial verdict

The charge against a man accused in the shocking hit-and-run of a cyclist in West Vancouver has been abated or removed by the Crown after the suspect died late last year.

Forty-nine-year-old William Charlton McEachnie was charged with one count of failing to stop at an accident scene involving bodily harm in connection with the June 2017 incident that was captured on surveillance video.

At around 8:30 p.m. on June 10, 2017, Eric Latta was cycling home in the 1900-block of Bellevue Avenue when he was struck by a westbound pickup truck. Witnesses saw the truck driver speed away from the scene without stopping.

Latta, a West Vancouver realtor, was seriously hurt and rushed to hospital with rib and other fractures, whiplash, ligament damage to his knee and ankle, extensive bruising, abrasions and a concussion.

McEachnie was arrested days later when, accompanied by legal counsel, he turned himself in and provided a statement at West Vancouver Police Department headquarters.

McEachnie was charged in February 2018 and went to trial in North Vancouver Provincial Court last October.

The judge’s verdict was set to come down Jan. 7, 2019 but did not go ahead after the accused died on Dec. 21, 2018.

Latta said McEachnie’s death is “a sad ending for him and his family.”

In November 2018, Latta filed a civil claims in B.C. Supreme Court against the truck driver and ICBC – seeking damages for the injuries he suffered.

Latta told Global News he is back to work and doing well but his recovery is still “a work in progress.”

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