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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Driver who hit pedestrian on wet, darkish Langley highway discovered not liable

B.C. Supreme Courtroom decide discovered driver could not have fairly been anticipated to keep away from hitting the person contemplating circumstances and that he was carrying darkish clothes, strolling with site visitors, not on the shoulder and had been consuming

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A Langley driver who struck a pedestrian on a darkish highway on a wet evening, knocking him into the ditch and leaving him with a severe head harm, has been discovered not liable for the “tragic” crash.

“I conclude that the defendant couldn’t have averted colliding with the plaintiff within the circumstances by an train of affordable care and prudence,” wrote B.C. Supreme Courtroom Justice John Gibb-Carsley in causes for judgment after a 10-day trial to find out legal responsibility for the October 2018 crash that left Stephen Andrew Makara, then 35, injured and unable to work.

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His legal professionals had argued that the motive force, Gregory Jay Peter, did not drive for the highway circumstances or for the truth that he knew pedestrians generally stroll alongside that highway, and he was notably negligent as a result of he failed to make use of his high-beam headlights that evening, and if he had, he may have averted hitting Makara.

However the decide dominated Makara hadn’t proved Peter had been negligent.

“I acknowledge that this case is tragic” and acknowledged Makara had been “profoundly impacted,” wrote Gibb-Carsley, however he discovered Makara’s conduct and choices have been liable for the accident.

A discovering of no legal responsibility in opposition to Peter means Makara is unable to pursue a lawsuit in opposition to him for damages.

Round 8 p.m. on Oct. 30, 2018, it was darkish and wet and Makara was strolling in the identical course as site visitors, on an unlit part of 240th Avenue in Langley. Courtroom heard he was strolling nearly a metre from the best white line separating the highway from the shoulder.

Peter was driving a 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 half-ton truck and his windshield wipers have been working on the highest velocity due to heavy rain, courtroom was instructed. Makara was carrying darkish gray or black clothes and a hoodie and had been consuming. He has no reminiscence of the crash or the occasions earlier than it, based on the judgment.

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Peter testified he was driving round 50 kph, 10 kph under the velocity restrict, and didn’t have his excessive beams on. He mentioned he swerved when he noticed Makara, however was unable to keep away from hitting him.

A collision professional testified that top beams shouldn’t be utilized in heavy rain with wipers at excessive velocity as a result of falling rain droplets disperse and mirror mild and have a tendency to clean out objects within the scene and diminish distinction.

He concluded the accident was “probably unavoidable” and that the “use of high-beam headlights … wouldn’t have made a big distinction,” wrote Gibb-Carsley.

The decide mentioned a toxicology professional testified Makara was “closely intoxicated,” having consumed the equal of eight “doubles” between midday and 4 p.m., which aligned with a witness who smelled alcohol from Makara on the scene.

That may “extra probably than not contribute to the choices (Makara) made main as much as the accident and his skill to understand and decide his location on the roadway and the distances from the truck,” the decide wrote.

However “sober or intoxicated, the plaintiff’s location on the roadway, strolling in the identical course as site visitors, within the rain and darkish, and carrying darkish clothes are the first components in my evaluation of whether or not the defendant may have averted placing the plaintiff together with his truck that evening.”

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I really feel I need to remark as soon as extra that it is a actually tragic case,” wrote Gibb-Carsley. “The accident profoundly and negatively modified Mr. Makara’s life. I’ve nice sympathy for him, and acknowledge the tough obstacles he should face and overcome.”

And he mentioned he had sympathy for his household, “trustworthy, hard-working and caring people,” who’ve made sacrifices to look after Makara.

“Nonetheless, I merely can’t discover, on cautious evaluate of the proof as an entire, that the plaintiff has demonstrated that the defendant did not reside as much as the usual of care anticipated of a driver in like circumstances.”


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