Father killed in crash with 'suicidal' man


Gave away last $5 and informed police of plan

Lora Grindlay, Canwest News Service  Published: Tuesday, August 12, 2008


VANCOUVER - On Sunday afternoon, Gerald Guliker packed up a few things and prepared to end his life.

He drove to various family members' houses to say goodbye, then phoned the RCMP to tell them of his plans to drive his minivan to Hope, B.C., and kill himself.

Long before the day was over, the 44-year-old man from Chilliwack, B.C., was dead.

So was a 40-year-old Chilliwack man, who had been out for a drive with his family and three-year-old daughter, when Mr. Guliker's van hit them in a violent head-on crash.

Mr. Guliker had been released from North Fraser Pretrial Centre two weeks ago, where he had served a three-week sentence for repeatedly violating a court order forbidding him from contacting his wife and three children.

He had threatened suicide many times before, and his extended family, out of fear for his safety, had phoned police before. But on Sunday, when he gave his second cousin, 23-year-old Anton Guliker, his wallet containing $5, his thermos and coffee cup, he told him: "Today's the day. It's over."

An hour and a half later, the two men were dead, and wreckage littered a narrow and pretty country road between the communities of Agassiz and Rosedale, about 120 kilometres east of Vancouver.

RCMP Inspector Keith Robinson said the tragic crash is now being investigated as a murder-suicide. It's believed Mr. Guliker crossed into oncoming traffic and hit the family's SUV minutes after two officers, who had been out looking for Mr. Guliker, spotted him talking to a relative in Rosedale.

Mr. Guliker took off when he saw the police approaching.

"Preliminary information suggests that the police did not engage in a pursuit of Mr. Guliker," Insp. Robinson said, adding officers did follow him until they lost sight of him.

The next time they saw him, just minutes later, he was dead, along with the other unidentified man, under a canopy of trees at a boat launch.

Anton Guliker, who was close to his second cousin, said: "He had his mind made up. He was going out."

When Gerald Guliker left his cousin after saying goodbye, his cousin phoned the police, who had already heard from Gerald Guliker himself and other family members.

Anton Guliker said his cousin was never the same fun, helpful person he was after a workplace accident seven years ago.

He fell on his head while doing a stucco job and suffered a brain injury that had him in a coma for two months.

"He began going downhill into depression. It was getting worse and worse. He was getting violent at home," said Anton Guliker.

"It was just something in his brain. He was never the same. He didn't care anymore. He just wished he was dead."

Anton Guliker said he was on anti-depressants and anti-seizure medication, and received WorkSafe benefits. But he lived a troubled life that spiralled out of control two months ago, when he was no longer welcome in his family home and was charged with uttering threats against his wife.

"He felt useless. He felt like his family didn't need him anymore," he said.

Gerald Guliker had talked about hitting another car when he previously talked of ending his life.

"I'm so sorry it had to happen this way. I wish he would have hit a tree or something. I'm just so sorry he took someone else."