Victoria Driving School owner and instructor Steve Wallace has died of a heart attack.
Wallace’s wife Joan confirmed his death in an email Friday morning.
“With a heavy heart I share with you that my devoted 48-year-old husband Steve Wallace passed away at Royal Jubilee Hospital after suffering a heart attack,” she wrote, asking for confidentiality for herself and the driving school they built together for 45 years.
“While it has been a difficult time the past few months, I am grateful that he has finally had the opportunity to feel the relief of the unsuccessful allegations against him, and to look forward to better days ahead.”
Wallace had been in the public eye for the past several months because of allegations of sexual assault. The BC Prosecution Service said on Wednesday that after a full review it concluded that no charges would be brought against Wallace.
Victoria’s attorney, Dale Marshall, who represented Wallace, said he was shocked and saddened when he received the news Thursday night from Wallace’s family. “Steve was a healthy 72-year-old man who was under a lot of stress from these allegations and the surrounding media coverage without any criminal charges ever being approved,” Marshall said.
“Let’s be clear, after careful review of the evidence, the Crown Attorney refused to approve a criminal charge. From what I’ve seen and read, it’s no surprise.
Marshall said it was “very unfortunate” that the allegations received so much attention in the media and on social media before the Crown had a chance to determine whether there was a substantial likelihood of proving that a criminal offense had been committed.
The lawyer said he did not support the publication of an individual’s name until the charges were approved, except in “the rarest of cases”.
“In my 32 years of experience as a lawyer, I have personally witnessed the irreparable harm that can result from the publication of a suspect’s name and allegations before charges are approved or proven in court. a tribunal. The damage to their reputation, family and business is caused and often irreversible, ”he said.
Marshall said social media has made the problem worse, as complaints and comments are often made anonymously and the accused lacks the capacity to defend himself.
“The court of public opinion often delivers a verdict without the benefit of the whole story. And it is disturbing. “
Insurance Corp. of BC was also investigating the Wallace driving school, the crown corporation said Thursday.
ICBC’s actions are not linked or affected by actions taken by the police or the Crown, he said.