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

2019 Alberta Scotties, hosted in Stettler, could be anybody’s bonspiel

Competition will be lively between hometown rivalries, champs and hopefuls

Blackfalds RCMP on scene of school bus collision and car jacking

RCMP are looking for a silver 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander with Alberta license plate BNR655

Farmers are at increased risk of mental health issues such as depression or anxiety

Stettler County hosts Agriculture Mental Health Awareness Seminar

Erskine and area residents help couple who lost their home and belongings to a fire

Erskine Post Office accepting donations until end of January

WATCH: World-renowned illusionist, magician, escapist performs in Stettler

Matt Johnson performs two sold-out shows at Stettler Performing Arts Centre

Top Canadian athletes inducted into the Canada Games Hall of Honour

Athletes doing incredible things for communities are inducted into Hall of Honour, says Games CEO

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Blackfalds RCMP seeking information on activities of stolen Fountain Tire Truck

Blackfalds RCMP recovered truck following earlier collision and car-jacking

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after truck collides with six vehicles

No one was injured and the male driver was restrained by a nearby resident until police arrived

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Most Read