Driver gets 14 months prison for fatal crash

Brenda Michie dearly misses the charming man who used to hug her at any opportunity, made everyone around him laugh and with whom she shared 20 years of trust, honesty and unconditional love. 

“My wonderful life with Jim is over,” Michie told a Surrey courtroom on Friday. “I had 20 years, but I so wanted 20 more. He taught me a lot. He was my soulmate, the love of my life, and will remain in my heart forever.” 

Michie’s husband, 59-year-old Jim Neiss, was killed in 2011 as he drove to his job as a school bus driver with the Langley School District. 

On Friday, Glen Edward Theriault, 65, who was found guilty last year of dangerous driving causing Neiss’s death, was sentenced to 14 months in jail and a four-year driving prohibition. 

On Jan. 18, 2011, Theriault was driving his dump truck west on 16th Avenue in Langley when he decided to pass two vehicles in front of him. He accelerated and crossed over a solid double yellow line. Theriault then slammed into the truck driven by Neiss, killing him instantly. 

Following the trial, Judge Paul Dohm found Theriault made a “conscious, deliberate and risky” decision. 

Theriault has not driven a commercial vehicle since the crash. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and is undergoing counselling. 

In court, Theriault made a tearful apology to Michie and prayed she will be able to forgive him someday. 

Outside court, Michie was at a bit of a loss to describe how she was feeling. “I’m all done – it’s over,” she said. 

– Jennifer Saltman is a reporter with the Vancouver Province

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