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Man charged in hit-and-run that claimed Island dad

A Bowser man made a brief court appearance in Courtenay on Thursday after being charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing death in connection with a hit-and-run that killed a 48-year-old cyclist in Fanny Bay.

A Bowser man made a brief court appearance in Courtenay on Thursday after being charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing death in connection with a hit-and-run that killed a 48-year-old cyclist in Fanny Bay.

Timothy David Prad, 55, was released on a $2,000 recognizance with no deposit and no surety. Prad, who wore a T-shirt that read “just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD” must adhere to conditions imposed by provincial court Judge Ron Lamperson that include keeping the peace, reporting to a bail supervisor and not possessing or consuming alcohol.

Prad was arrested about 8 p.m. Wednesday after Comox Valley RCMP received a tip that led them to a property where a 2003 Ford F350 truck was seized. The charge Prad faces carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Sgt. Mark Whitworth, unit commander of the RCMP’s North Vancouver Island Traffic Services department, said more charges are possible. “A very bad decision was made,” he said. “It’s an unimaginable tragedy.”

Paul Bally was a father of two, a teacher at Lake Trail Middle School in Courtenay and a volunteer firefighter. He was riding his bicycle along the Old Island Highway in Fanny Bay on Monday when he was struck by a vehicle.

Bally, who taught at Lake Trail for 17 years, had a reputation for being able to make learning pleasant for everyone.

Many students remember the incentive currency “Bally Bucks” he would hand out for answering problems during math lessons or responding to questions in French class.

Bally’s wife, Evelyn, called police and went in search of her husband when he didn’t return home from his regular bike ride. She found him lying in a ditch more than four hours after he had left. He was later pronounced dead in hospital.

Prad’s arrest came after Evelyn Bally made an anguished, tearful plea urging the driver involved in the hit-and-run or anyone with information about the collision to contact police.

Police said Prad couldn’t have been apprehended without the help of the community, adding that they are seeking more information as the investigation continues.

In a statement, Insp. Tim Walton, who heads the Comox Valley RCMP, thanked the public for its support and assistance in the investigation. “Our team remains committed to completing a thorough investigation of all the circumstances surrounding this collision, bringing much-needed answers to Paul’s grieving family.”

Prad is due back in court Jan. 15.