Thought some riders on BCSB might not belong to the Island riders forum.
They also have a Face Book page Court Hearing - Tracy Dawn Smith
Last July 1st, we lost a local rider to a drunk driver, who was under court order to not drink or possess any alcohol. In breach of her court ordered conditions, Tracy Dawn Smith got behind the wheel of a car, drove a portion of the Malahat, crossed the centre line and hit our friend, Jana Mahanthiran, (who many of us knew through VIBikers as 'Jaguar') who was out for a ride on his blue FZ1, head on, killing him at the scene.
Months have passed and the public may have forgotten a lot of this story, but those who were close to Jana, his family and those who attended the scene of this tragedy (one of whom is also a fellow rider) will not forget the impact of Tracy's actions on that day. I think it's important that Jana's story get some coverage, get some public outrage again, and for Tracy Smith to be prosecuted appropriately.
The court dates for Tracy Dawn Smith's trial is coming up. The first date is Thursday, May 17th for her Preliminary Hearing. The next trial dates after that are June 19th & 20th. All of these hearings are at the Western Communities courthouse on the Colwood strip (near McDonalds) and begin at 9:am. All riders who can are encouraged to attend!
There have been a few court dates so far, mainly for her plea and to set bail (yes, she's out on bail) and to set trial dates, etc. We have had a showing of riders at each of these court dates and I would love to keep that momentum of riders in the courthouse. There are a lot of reasons for wanting to keep up this show of support... Tracy's family is local and has been attending, presumably to support her (though there are some in her family who have spoken up otherwise on Facebook), but Jana's family including his widow, all live in Ontario. They came out here for the court dates so far, and on the first day, they came in feeling like they had nobody for support. Then they saw all of us with riding jackets on, carrying helmets... Later Jana's widow told me that they thought there were just some riders there for random court things, but soon realized we were all there for Jana and for them... they were very touched. These are such nice people that never deserved this tragedy in their lives. However, they are seeing the support from our local community and they are so very appreciative. Later, we sent them a video from the memorial ride for Jana (With over 100 riders!) and they were so touched again, they played the video at Jana's memorial in Ontario, for his friends and family to see. That show of support and caring goes an awful long way.
So far, at each court date, there has also been an array of media reporters. I'd like to see this story get more coverage, and not get lost in the shuffle since it's been 10 months since the tragedy. Riders showing up to this has really made an impact in that sense as well so far. I'd love for the courts to feel some public pressure to step up the penalty for Tracy Smith.
So, on that note, whether or not you knew Jana while he was here, if you can make it out to the courthouse on all or any of these dates, it would be much appreciated by everyone involved.
THIS PARTICULAR INVITATION TO ATTEND THE COURT HEARING IS FOR MAY 17th, and May 24th BUT THERE ARE 2 MORE UPCOMING DATES NEXT MONTH AS WELL: JUNE 19-20.
IF YOU CAN'T ATTEND THIS ONE, MAYBE YOU CAN ATTEND ONE OR BOTH OF THE JUNE DATES.
We all realize that these court dates are hard for many to attend, since they're during the week, but we do hope to have a good show of riders at each date.