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Son of pastor killed in South Surrey border crash says family is ‘losing faith’ in justice system

Rev. Tom Cheung died in May 2019 while in line at the Douglas border crossing
Port Moody Rev. Tom Cheung died May 2, 2019 in a fiery crash at the Douglas border in South Surrey. In the days that followed, bouquets of flowers were placed at the site. (GoFundMe photo/File photo)

The son of a Port Moody pastor who died in a fiery crash at the Douglas border crossing in South Surrey three years ago says his family is frustrated that charges have yet to be laid against the person responsible.

“The fact my father’s killer is still walking free with no consequence whatsoever is very upsetting,” Solomon Cheung told Peace Arch News.

“While our lawyers have been working on building the civil case, we have heard next to nothing from the RCMP on how the criminal case is progressing.

“The RCMP says the same thing: investigation is ongoing, no information can be released to us.”

Rev. Tom Cheung – survived by his wife and three children – died on May 2, 2019, after a Porsche Cayenne SUV collided with a Toyota Sienna van in the northbound lanes of the approach to the Canada Border Services Agency booths at approximately 11:30 a.m.

READ MORE: UPDATE: One man dead after fiery crash at Peace Arch border crossing

READ MORE: ‘Loving, generous’ pastor, father identified as South Surrey border-crash victim

The impact sent both vehicles into a garden area located in the median between the north- and southbound lanes, where the van then burst into flames. Cheung – described as “a kind, compassionate and humble individual who loved people and always willing to help others” – was pronounced dead at the scene, while the male driver of the Porsche was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Witnesses reported hearing several explosions; a Washington State man was arrested at the scene.

A year later, Surrey RCMP told PAN – in response to inquiries regarding if and when charges might be laid – that the collision led to a “complex investigation requiring significant evidence collection.”

READ MORE: ‘Complex’ investigation of fiery May 2019 crash at South Surrey border ongoing

READ MORE: Charges recommended 19 months after fiery crash at South Surrey border

Investigators initially forwarded a recommendation for charges to the B.C. Prosecution Service (BCPS) in December 2020. Then, Surrey RCMP officials told PAN last November that another submission had “recently” been made.

PAN reached out to the BCPS last week asking for an update and if there was anything in particular that was holding up the case. As well, PAN advised of the family’s concerns regarding the investigation’s pace.

Monday (May 30) morning, spokesman Dan McLaughlin said only that there was still “no new information to share about this matter at this time.”

Solomon Cheung said he last heard from RCMP in October 2020, and that the family’s lawyers took over contact after that.

The fact that so much time has passed without news has “really caused us to lose faith towards our criminal justice system in Canada,” he said.
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Tracy Holmes

About the Author: Tracy Holmes

Tracy Holmes has been a reporter with Peace Arch News since 1997.
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