A memorial at Mary Street and Patten Avenue downtown Chilliwack in December 2016 near the location where 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian was killed by a hit-and-run driver. (Progress file)

A memorial at Mary Street and Patten Avenue downtown Chilliwack in December 2016 near the location where 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian was killed by a hit-and-run driver. (Progress file)

73-year-old Chilliwack woman charged in fatal hit-and-run defending herself in BC Supreme Court

Crown counsel alleges Linnea Labbee ran over 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian and fled the scene

A BC Supreme Court judge heard this week how a woman in Chilliwack allegedly ran over a 78-year-old woman in a marked crosswalk, fled the scene, and then acted like nothing happened at a strip mall just two blocks away.

The trial of 73-year-old Linnea Louise Labbee began on Monday (March 8) in front of Justice Brenda Brown, continued Tuesday and is scheduled to run for 20 days.

Labbee is charged with one count of failure to stop at an accident causing bodily harm related to the incident on Dec. 1, 2016 that killed septuagenarian Fourghozaman Firoozian, who was called “Farouk” by those who knew her.

Farouk, who was a much-loved community volunteer, was on the road in a marked crosswalk at the intersection of Mary Street and Patten Avenue.

Crown counsel Joe Saulnier began the trial Monday by outlining the prosecution’s case against Labbee, who was present in court and is representing herself.

• READ MORE: Charge laid in hit-and-run that killed beloved 78-year-old Chilliwack woman

• READ MORE: Funeral Wednesday afternoon as Chilliwack mourns a generous lady

Saulnier said will be calling civilian witnesses to the accident, the arresting RCMP officer, and witnesses from stores at Southgate Shopping Centre where Labbee claims to have been while the accident occurred.

Saulnier said he intends to show evidence that Labbee was driving the truck southbound on Mary Street that day more than four years ago, struck Farouk in the crosswalk at Patten, then drove over her, stopped for a moment before leaving the scene.

“The Crown will argue the accused knew bodily harm was caused and left the scene to avoid liability.”

Saulnier said eyewitnesses will testify that after striking the victim, the pickup turned left onto Ontario Street and ended up in the Southgate parking lot. One witness got the licence plate of Labbee’s grey Dodge truck. A piece of plastic at the accident scene matched a missing piece from Labbee’s truck grill, and the victim’s DNA was found on the inner wheel of the truck.

The green square is the intersection of Mary Street and Patten Avenue where 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian was struck and killed by a pickup truck on Dec. 1, 2016. Crown counsel alleges 70-year-old Linnea Labbee struck her, stopped briefly, and continued south on Mary, turned left on Ontario Avenue, and went to the Southgate Plaza parking lot. (Maps.Chilliwack.com)

The green square is the intersection of Mary Street and Patten Avenue where 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian was struck and killed by a pickup truck on Dec. 1, 2016. Crown counsel alleges 70-year-old Linnea Labbee struck her, stopped briefly, and continued south on Mary, turned left on Ontario Avenue, and went to the Southgate Plaza parking lot. (Maps.Chilliwack.com)

“There is little doubt about the vehicle that ran over the victim,” Saulnier said, adding that when Labbee was later arrested on Hope River Road two-and-a-half hours later, Labbee was in the passenger seat and the truck was being driven by a male.

Saulnier said that Labbee’s alibi in her defence will be that she was at Southgate all morning and during the time of the hit-and-run just after noon.

“She believes someone stole her truck, presumably ran over the victim, and then remarkably returned the truck to approximately where it had been parked before,” he told the court.

Saulnier said he plans to show evidence of a bank withdrawal at 12:11 p.m. from Labbee’s CIBC bank account on the corner of Princess Avenue and Young Road. He will argue that she then drove west on Princess, south on Mary, struck the victim, then turned left on Ontario arriving at Southgate at 12:21 p.m., which is the first time she appears on surveillance footage at the plaza.

One of the first witnesses to testify was a former receptionist at the UPS store at Southgate, who told the court Labbee, who was a regular customer, came in that day to check her mailbox. While the employee was printing some labels for Labbee, the witness testified she remembered the accused went to the front of the store and was looking “back and forth out the front door.”

The trial continues.

See www.theprogress.com for updates in the coming days.


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
editor@theprogress.com

@PeeJayAitch
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Supreme Courtfatal collision

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CTTV footage released by the Abbotsford Police Department.
Abbotsford Police looking to identify gas station bandit

Man commits 2 robberies in 2 days, makes off with cash and cigarettes

web
Fire breaks out inside Mission Walmart

Customers, staff evacuated as firefighters investigate

Japanese Canadian citizens being transferred into waiting trucks outside Hope Station House. NNMCC L2021-2-1-004. Photographs courtesy of the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre
Fight continues for historic Hope Station House

Ombudsman report and stop work order come alongside district’s move to remove heritage status

Pacific Institution in Abbotsford. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Inmate sentenced for aggravated assault in Maple Ridge dies in Abbotsford

Correctional Service Canada says Brodie Bingley died April 13 at Pacific Institution

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Dr. Bonnie Henry – in a B.C. health order that went into effect April 12 – granted WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce workplace closures with COVID-19 spread. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
24 workplace closures being enforced in Fraser Health under new COVID-19 order

WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce closures if COVID-19 has spread to 3 or more employees

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were conducting training operations at Gold Creek Falls when a firefighter broke their leg. (Eileen Robinson photo - Special to The News)
Firefighter suffers broken leg during swift water rescue practice in Golden Ears park

A training exercise at Maple Ridge waterfall on Wedesday results in mishap

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Most Read