Emergency responders in 2014 responded to the collision between an RCMP cruiser and the van of a tourist family from Calgary. (Langley Advance files)

B.C. Mountie largely at fault for crash that totalled Calgary family’s van

A judge found some blame for both drivers in a 2014 collision on a busy Aldergrove highway.

A Langley Mountie has been found 80 per cent responsible for a high speed crash with a Calgary family while he was responding to a 911 call about a man with a gun.

Const. Chad Gorman received a priority one alert on his radio on the afternoon of July 22, 2014. The top-priority call was about a 911 report of a man being chased by someone with a gun.

Gorman sped to Fraser Highway and headed west through Aldergrove, with lights and sirens on, reaching a speed of 147 km/h, according to the Tuesday ruling of Justice Bruce Butler in B.C. Supreme Court.

The Meghji family of Calgary were in the same area, looking for a local antique car museum. Shiraz Meghji, his wife Shelina, and his 18-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son had been crossing B.C. in their family camper van on the way to Vancouver.

When Shiraz drove from 268th across Fraser Highway, Gorman’s cruiser slammed into the van, flipping it on its side and destroying both vehicles.

“Somewhat miraculously, no one was killed,” wrote Butler. “All five people suffered injuries, but they were able to walk away from the accident.”

All five people were taken to the hospital but released that day or the next.

• READ MORE: Langley woman gets $2 million after 2014 train crash

Several witnesses reported not hearing Gorman’s siren as he approached the intersection, Butler noted. The judge found that Gorman had turned on the siren, but that witnesses couldn’t tell it apart from that of another RCMP cruiser that was just ahead of Gorman, responding to the same call.

Lawyers for Gorman and B.C.’s Solicitor General – which regulates policing – argued that Shiraz Meghji was entirely at fault, and should have given the right of way to Gorman’s cruiser, with its lights and sirens blaring.

Meghji’s lawyers argued that Gorman was traveling at excessive speed at mid-day in a busy area where the speed limit was just 60 km/h.

While Butler found Meghji’s decision to drive through the intersection was negligent, he placed more fault on the RCMP officer.

“He [Gorman] chose to travel at such a high speed because he was responding to a Priority One call,” wrote Butler. “However, the fact that it was a very high priority emergency response situation does not give an officer the privilege of travelling at a speed that creates an unreasonable risk to the public.”

Gorman failed to balance the needs of responding to the emergency with his responsibility to public safety, Butler ruled.

“Mr. Meghji’s departure from a reasonable standard of care was much less,” Butler wrote, “he failed to proceed with sufficient care as he drove through the intersection.”

Because Gorman was acting in his role as a police officer, he is not liable, and liability for the crash lies with the Ministry of Public Safety and the Solicitor General.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

mclaxton@langleyadvance.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

 

Emergency responders in 2014 responded to the collision between an RCMP cruiser and the van of a tourist family from Calgary. (Langley Advance files)

Just Posted

Supporters rally for Jason Kenney as UCP leader stops in Red Deer

Kenney promises equalization reform, stopping ‘Trudeau-Notley’ payroll hike, trade, economic mobility

NDP Leader Rachel Notley stops in Red Deer on campaign trail

Notley promises hospital expansion, cath lab, pipelines and energy industry expansion

Police seize loaded gun in Wetaskiwin

Man arrested with homemade rifle attempt to break into a commercial property

St. Michael’s Church commemoration held west of Bashaw

The celebration acknowledged the history of Hungarian settlers in the area

UCP proposes changes to property rights

Former MLA Wes Taylor spoke on those changes recently

Edmonton judge rules Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Eight-year sentence imposed in 2010 would have ended last October had Khadr remained in custody

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

Social media comments continue to dog ranks of United Conservative candidates

Eva Kiryakos was running in Calgary-South East in the April 16 vote

Apple announces its long-awaited streaming TV service

The iPhone has long been Apple’s marquee product and main money maker, but sales are starting to decline

Trudeau delivers campaign-style speech while introducing candidate Taggart

The Order of British Columbia recipient said she wants to be the people’s voice in Ottawa

15 Canadians on cruise ship that was stranded off Norway; one injured

The cruise ship was carrying 1,373 passengers and crew when it issued a mayday call on Saturday afternoon

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Most Read