U.S. man accused in Mountie's death will have to come to Canada for sentencing

A 31-year-old Pennsylvania man will have to come to Canada to be sentenced for his part in the crash that killed an RCMP officer in September.

Vasiliy Meshko admits to driving without due care and attention in roadside death of Const. Francis Deschênes

Nova Scotia RCMP Const. Francis (Frank) Deschenes, 35, was killed on Sept. 12, when he stopped to help change a tire, and a van plowed into his cruiser. (RCMP)

A 31-year-old Pennsylvania man will have to come to Canada to be sentenced for his part in the crash that killed an RCMP officer in September, a judge said Friday.

Vasiliy Meshko of Wilkes-Barre pleaded guilty through his lawyer in Moncton court Friday to driving without due care and attention.

A second charge of failing to move over was withdrawn by the Crown.

RCMP Const. Francis Deschênes, 35, died at the scene of the crash on Highway 2 near Memramcook on Sept. 12.

Deschenes was a native of Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska in northern New Brunswick and at the time of his death was serving with the RCMP in Amherst, N.S.

Vasiliy Meshko pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention, causing a crash with Deschene's police cruiser and an SUV.

He had stopped near Memramcook to help two people in an SUV with a flat tire, when Meshko's utility van crashed into his police cruiser and the SUV. The others were injured and taken to hospital.

The two Motor Vehicle Act charges against Meshko came at the end of a three-month investigation by the RCMP. 

Police said there was not enough evidence to lay criminal charges in the case.

In court Friday, Meshko's lawyer, Hazen Brien, said he had been authorized by his client to accept a sentence in his absence.

But Judge Troy Sweet said it would be appropriate for the accused to be present in court to hear his sentence and asked how soon Meshko could be brought to Canada.

A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Dec. 22 at 1:30 p.m.

Const. Deschenes' widow, Savannah Bennett, was in court for the proceedings but left without making any comments.