Two years after a crash on a logging road near Mission claimed the life of Langley teenager Lidia Ramos, charges have been laid against the vehicle’s driver.
Jacob Ross Blanthorne, 23, has now been charged with two counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
Lidia’s mom and other family members attended Abbotsford Provincial Court on Thursday to be a presence for Lidia.
But Blanthorne didn’t show up, said Lidia’s mom Angela. A bench warrant for his arrest was issued on Feb. 5, but was re-issued Feb. 22.
Lidia was supposed to celebrate her sweet 16th birthday the week she died in a crash along a logging road in Mission, on March 5, 2016.
Lidia, who was in Grade 10 at Brookswood Secondary, had told her mom she was sleeping over at a friend’s house, but instead went to a bonfire party near Stave Falls in Mission.
There was a torrential downpour at the time of the crash — around 1 a.m. The vehicle slid 15 feet down an embankment and came to rest with its roof against a tree, said Mission RCMP at the time.
The impact of the crash was greatest on the driver’s side, where Lidia was sitting in the backseat, said her mom.
The driver, who was then a 21-year-old Langley man, had reportedly lost control on the muddy switchbacks before sliding off road. At the time, Mission RCMP said speed was believed to be a factor.
Lidia died at the scene. The 16-year-old Langley youth sitting beside her was left in a coma. He suffered several broken bones and other injuries, but survived.
Both the driver and the front-seat passenger, a 19-year-old man from Surrey, suffered upper body injuries and were taken to hospital.
Near the one year anniversary of Lidia’s death, the Ramos family and their friends started a campaign called #Justice for Lidia on change.org. At the time, Angela Ramos said she was upset that no charges had been laid and that the driver had never tried to reach out to her.