30 Sep Struck by Oncoming Vehicle
Have you ever been on a roadway that had no centre line and felt that oncoming traffic was encroaching on your side of the road? Who would be at fault if there was a collision?
In Ferguson v. Brown, 2015 BCSC 1638, the Court assessed liability in just such a case. Mr. Ferguson and his passengers were travelling on Weaver Creek Road, near Agassiz, British Columbia. This is a winding mountain road, with uphill and downhill grades. It is a two-lane road without a centre line, but with room for oncoming vehicles to pass. The shoulder has gravel and a drainage slope.
While travelling a straight stretch, Mr. Ferguson noted an oncoming red truck. The red truck kicked up a dust cloud. After it went past, Mr. Ferguson saw an oncoming Mazda driven by the Defendant. The Mazda appeared to be driving across the centre of the road. Mr. Ferguson honked the horn and braked, but the vehicles collided.
At trial, Mr. Ferguson and his passengers testified that the Defendant’s Mazda had crossed the centre of the road. They also had photographs of the vehicles before they were moved. They showed the Mazda’s position across the centre of the road.
The Court found that the Defendant’s vision was obscured by the dust cloud. As a result, he had an obligation to pull to the right and stop until the dust cleared and he could see. The Court accepted the evidence that the Defendant failed to stay to the right of the roadway and crossed the centre of the lane. In addition, the Defendant violated his duty to drive to the right of the road to allow an oncoming vehicle to pass safely.
The Court rejected the Defendant’s argument that Mr. Ferguson’s actions contributed to the collision. The Court found the Defendant 100% liable.
The photographs were a helpful part of Mr. Ferguson’s case. If you are in a similar situation, you should photograph the collision scene and vehicles before they are moved.
Contact our firm if you are involved in a collision of this kind. We’ve got the expertise to help you.