Man sentenced to probation in fatal hit-and-run, vehicle v. tricyclist case

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ST. GEORGE – A man involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident last year that claimed the life of 57-year-old Steven Jed Canfield pleaded guilty in 5th District Court in St. George Thursday and was sentenced to 36 months probation.

Gary Fairse, 34, who has had addresses in Mesquite, Nevada, and St. George, appeared before Judge Jeffery Wilcox for a resolution hearing concerning the 2014 case. He pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony charge of failing to remain at the scene of an accident involving a death.

He was given 36 months probation, ordered to pay a $2,500 fine and also to write a letter of apology to the victim’s family.

Fairse’s “plea and abeyance” entered means that, while he pleaded guilty, the court will not enter judgment as long as he complies with the terms of his probation. If he keeps to the terms he can have the ruling expunged from his record. If he doesn’t, judgment is entered.

Deputy Washington County Attorney Ryan Shaum said he had spoken to Canfield’s daughter, and she was agreeable with the judgment.

This is obviously a tragic situation,” Shaum said, adding that the reason Fairse had been charged was because he didn’t stay at the scene of the accident after hitting Canfield.

Canfield was killed the evening of Oct. 21, 2014, after being struck by Fairse’s car on Old Highway 91 while Canfield was riding a hand-operated tricycle in the area between Kayenta Parkway and W. 400 South. A passing motorist saw Canfield’s body lying on the road and contacted police.

Read more: News LIVE: Bicyclist killed by vehicle hit-and-run; part of Old Highway 91 closed; UPDATED 11:20 a.m.

Following news reports about the incident, Fairse contacted police and told them he had struck Canfield without realizing it, Santa Clara-Ivins Police Sgt. Chad Holt said.

We believe (Fairse) has shown remorse,” Shaum said, “and is in a position he has accepted accepted responsibility for that.”

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1 Comment

  • Common Sense October 9, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    I saw the victim the morning he died. He was riding his hand operated tricycle out by the DMV in Hurricane. I was sad to hear later the next day that he had been hit and killed. His bike was pretty low profile so I can see how it may be difficult to see him. Tragic for all.

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