5 years later, crash that claimed officer’s life still reverberates through Greater Victoria

Const. Sarah Beckett’s memory lives on in the community, honoured with park, scholarship and annual run

Sarah Beckett’s widower Brad Aschenbrenner, and their sons open the memorial playground with an official ribbon cutting Aug. 24, 2019. (Black Press Media file photo)

Sarah Beckett’s widower Brad Aschenbrenner, and their sons open the memorial playground with an official ribbon cutting Aug. 24, 2019. (Black Press Media file photo)

Const. Sarah Beckett was 32 when she was fatally struck by an impaired and speeding driver five years ago in Langford.

The crash on April 5, 2016 sent shock waves through the small community, where her memory has been honoured by the Sarah Beckett Memorial Park, a scholarship and an annual run.

This year the run will be virtual, on May 8 and 9, with registrants participating on their own. Last year it was cancelled due to COVID-19, so while this would mark the third year of the run, 2019 was the only ‘normal’ year.

Funds raised go towards the Sarah Beckett Memorial Scholarship, administered by the Capital Regional District Traffic Safety Commission. The $2,000 scholarship is awarded to a post-secondary student interested in a law enforcement career. It’s hoped the scholarship can raise awareness of traffic safety issues and the community service provided by police.

West Shore RCMP wrote in a release April 5 that since promising to zero in on impaired drivers, they have recommended charges in more than 900 cases.

READ MORE: Langford’s Sarah Beckett Memorial playground opens

The driver who struck Beckett’s marked police car was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison, and was granted overnight parole this February. Kenneth Jacob Fenton, 29 at the time of the crash, had alcohol, cocaine and marijuana in his system, and was speeding through the 50 km/hr zone, being pursued by another police officer who noticed Fenton’s truck had no tail lights.

Six weeks later, while on bail, Fenton was caught driving under the influence, and crashed the truck he was driving while being pursued by police. Fenton is required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, is prohibited from owning a vehicle and is not allowed to return to Vancouver Island.

READ MORE: Drunk driver convicted in death of Const. Sarah Beckett granted overnight parole

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RCMPSarah Beckett

 

Scott Macausland and his son, Declan (7), at the finish line of the Sarah Beckett Memorial Run. (Black Press Media file photo)

Scott Macausland and his son, Declan (7), at the finish line of the Sarah Beckett Memorial Run. (Black Press Media file photo)