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

Langley Mountie at fault for crash that destroyed tourists’ 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

Spartans take silver at U SPORTS games

TWU women’s soccer team edged by Gee-Gees Sunday in Ottawa

Dog’s death on busy road raises fears

A hit and run by a large truck has a community concerned.

LETTER: Canada should not be selling weapons abroad

A Langley man is critical of Canada for selling arms that are being used to kill civilians.

Langley author pens tribute to the men and women of Canada’s military for Remembrance Day

‘A soldier, a sailor and an airman … stood before the Pearly Gates’

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

UPDATE: Man, 19, dies following shooting in Abbotsford

Victim was airlifted to hospital Monday afternoon, but died shortly afterwards

Surging Rangers beat visiting Canucks 2-1

Goalie Lundqvist ties Plante on all-time wins list

Calgary 2026 leader expects close vote in Winter Games plebiscite

Residents to choose in a non-binding vote on Tuesday whether they want city to bid on 2026 Olympics

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

BCHLers on NHL Central Scouting players to watch list

The list includes seven current BCHL skaters

Most Read