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Cement truck driver who killed Toronto cyclist receives no jail time, will pay fine instead


The cement truck driver who killed John Offutt was fined $2,000 for careless driving after pleading guilty on Monday. Additionally, Keven Cote, 48 will have his licence suspended for six months and has to complete 100 hours of community service, according to a report in the Toronto Star. Cote will not serve any jail time.

Cote is a professional truck driver from Oshaw hit Offutt, 59, on his bike when he made a right hand turn into the bike lane on Nov. 20, 20202. According to police, Cote was “inattentive” and should have yielded the right of way. At first, he was charged with careless driving causing death as well as making an unsafe turn.Ultimately though, the first charge was reduced and the second charge was withdrawn. The prosecution and Cote’s lawyer then presented a joint submission to the court and the judge accepted it.

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Offutt’s widow spoke to the media following the verdict. She said she was preparing dinner when police came to her door and told her the awful news.

“In that moment I went from being a happily married woman to half a couple,” she said. The couple had been married for 35 years. Offutt was a kindergarten teacher and leaves behind Ferguson and two sons.

Cote addressed the courtroom by video call and said he was very sorry for his actions. “I reflect every day on this tragic act. I know whatever I do nothing will do justice for what happened.”

David Shellnutt, also known as The Biking Lawyer, told the Star that it’s far too common in Ontario for drivers who kill or critically injure vulnerable road users to receive a slap on the wrist like a fine.
“Whether you’re looking at your phone and you kill somebody or you’re drinking and driving and you kill somebody, you’re still being incredibly dangerous and negligent, and the result on the family and community is the same,” he said.


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