‘Now, this is over’: Killer of B.C. gas station attendant dies at age 30 in prison

Grant De Patie killed while working at gas station

Grant de Patie died after being dragged under a vehicle in Maple Ridge. (THE NEWS/files)

The man who drove over and dragged gas station attendant Grant DePatie to his death has died.

Darnell Darcy Pratt passes away Feb. 13, at age 30, in New Westminster.

Pratt was 16 in March 2005, when he struck and killed De Patie, 24, in a stolen car while fleeing an Esso station on Dewdney Trunk Road in east Maple Ridge without paying for gas.

Grant’s parents, Doug and Corinne De Patie, heard of Pratt’s death and sought confirmation from B.C. Vital Statistics, which sent them a death certificate.

“My book is finished,” Corinne said Thursday.

Her grief over losing her son will continue, but feels now that she has closure and is relieved Pratt will never hurt anyone else.

“…Now, this is over. The final chapter ended. I think I can comfortably move forward in my new normal,” Corinne said.

“I think I can comfortably move forward in my new normal,” Corinne said.

Grant De Patie was working alone when he was killed while trying to prevent a robbery involving $12 worth of gas.

Originally charged with second-degree murder, Pratt pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced in May 2006 as an adult to nine years, minus time served, for a total of seven years and three months in prison. Pratt was released in July 2012, but violated parole conditions three times.

It came up in court that Pratt was believed to have had fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, Doug said Thursday.

The De Patie family fought to get Grant’s Law passed in B.C. in 2007, which requires safety measures for employees working alone.

The law made British Columbia the first province in Canada to make drivers pay before they pump gas, and included provisions to add barriers or two workers for those on retail graveyard shifts.

Later, WorkSafeBC amended the regulations to allow employers a third option.

Doug De Patie lobbied governments across Canada to pass similar legislation and said Alberta passed a similar law last year, after four or five deaths from gas-and-dash incidents.

Husky Energy also requires customers to pay before pumping gas at all its stations across Canada, he added. But most motorists now pay with debit or credit cards anyways, he added.

The B.C. Federation of Labour plans on installing a marker on Dewdney Trunk Road on 248th Street to commemorate Grant De Patie’s place of death.

 

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