Cyclist killed in Hwy 16 collision identified as Smithers Crown prosecutor

Paul Backhouse was 41 years old and leaves behind a 20-month old son

The cyclist killed in a collision with a pickup truck on Hwy 16 Aug. 13 has been identified as Smithers Crown prosecutor Paul Backhouse.

An obituary published this week said Backhouse enjoyed many of the recreational opportunities available in the Bulkley Valley, but that “his greatest joy was bringing a smile to the face of his little boy,” a 20-month old son he leaves behind along with his wife Kristen.

According to police, Backhouse was eastbound on the highway when the pickup came off Babine Lake Road and struck him.

OBITUARY: Paul Gregory Backhouse, May 20, 1979 – August 13, 2020

Cpl. Kevin Christensen of the Smithers RCMP said an investigation into the crash is ongoing and will be forwarded to the BC Prosecution Service when complete for determination of whether charges for the driver of the truck are appropriate.

Backhouse tried numerous cases in his five years with the Crown counsel office in Smithers, but his most prominent case, perhaps, was the successful prosecution of Ron Fowler for the attempted murder of his neighbour George Parent.

READ MORE: Jury finds Fowler guilty of attempted murder

The jury trial ended with a guilty verdict on March 14, 2019.

Backhouse had argued for a nine- to 10-year sentence, but Fowler was never sentenced because he was killed when he was struck by a tractor-trailer while walking in Fraser Lake on Nov. 12, 2019.

Backhouse’s family is encouraging people “to honour his memory in a way that celebrates what was important to him: skip out of work, head to the hills for some fun, and follow it up with a good bottle of wine shared with the people you love.”

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