Driver charged with speeding in crash that killed Sooke teen

Carter Navarrete killed in Sooke Road crash in September 2016

Langford resident Desmond Vallee, 19, has been charged with a single count of speeding after being the driver in a crash that killed Sooke teen Carter Navarrete last year.

At about 10:45 p.m. on Sept. 2, 2016, the two boys were headed eastbound on Sooke Road when Vallee lost control of the vehicle and rolled into the forested area on the opposite side of the highway.

Navarrete, who was the only passenger in the vehicle, died at the scene.

Navarrete was an energetic individual with a strong passion for hockey, singing and song writing, who had just graduated from Belmont Secondary a few months earlier. Prior to the accident, the two friends went to McDonald’s to get french fries.

Vallee was charged under the Motor Vehicle Act for exceeding the posted speed limit, and is set to appear in Western Communities provincial court on Sept. 28.

Navarrete’s parents, Nicole Navarrete and Mauricio Navarrete, have also filed a lawsuit against the District of Sooke, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation, and Mainroad South Island Contracting LP, with hopes of improving the safety of Sooke Road.

In the civil suit, Nicole and Mauricio Navarrete claim that the district, contracting company and ministry failed to address risk factors when they knew about the increasing amount of injuries and fatalities on the stretch of highway near where the crash occurred.

It also suggests that the road maintenance company and the ministry failed to take care in the design and construction of Sooke Road, and that all three defendants failed to apply safety design standards near where the accident occurred, such as installing a railing, reflectors or tiles to better illuminate the road, maintain shoulder lane markings and make line paint more visible and reflective on the road, particularly for motorists driving at night.

Both the District of Sooke and Mainroad South Island Contracting have denied all claims made against them, arguing that Sooke Road is a provincial highway and falls under the responsibility of the B.C. government.

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