Rain caused a washout of a section of Rumming Road in Lantzville in January and a car and driver plunged into the sinkhole. — Nanoose Volunteer Fire Department/Facebook photo

B.C. woman who was caught in mudslide now suing for negligence

Lawsuit claims road maintenance a factor when car plunged 20 metres into sinkhole near Nanaimo

A Lantzville woman who inadvertently drove her vehicle into massive sinkhole earlier this year is taking legal action.

Karena Donnelly is suing for negligence after she was caught in a mudslide on a rainy night in January.

She was driving along Rumming Road in Lantzville in the early morning hours Jan. 29 when her vehicle suddenly plunged 20 metres down an embankment after heavy rains and a landslide had washed out the road and created a sinkhole.

Donnelly was rescued by Arrowsmith Search and Rescue a little more than an hour after her vehicle was turned upside down in the sinkhole.

RELATED: Woman rescued after mudslide in Lantzville

RELATED: Nanoose fire department sets up fund for woman caught in mudslide

She has now filed a notice of civil claim in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against the District of Lantzville, the Ministry of Transportation and Emcon Services Inc.

Her claim accuses the district, the province and Emcon of “failing to maintain” the road surface in safe condition, ensuring the road wouldn’t be washed away in the event of heavy rain, particularly when they “knew or should have known” that the road was unstable and unsafe for traffic, court documents show. The claim also blames the defendants for not putting any reflective or warning lights around the “unstable portion” of the Rumming Road and failing to maintain drainage structures, storm drains, catch basins and sumps near the roadway.

As a result of the incident, which took place on Jan. 29, Donnelly continues to suffer personal injuries, including anxiety, stress, headaches, sleeplessness and post traumatic stress disorder and has been unable to work, according to the claim.

Donnelly is seeking general and special damages and an undisclosed amount of financial compensation. Her attorney did not respond to a request for comment by the News Bulletin.

Ronald Campbell, the district’s chief administrative officer, said the municipality does not publicly comment on any litigation in which it is involved.



nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Freezing rain warning issued for central Interior Remembrance Day

Highway alerts in place for Begbie Summitt and Pine Pass

BCTF rejects mediator’s recommendations for settlement

Negotiations between B.C. teachers and the province will continue

Isaac Mack BCRA 2019 Bullriding Champion

Mack wrapped up the BCRA season with $12,484.99 in season earnings.

B.C. debate becomes bitter over impact of UN Indigenous rights law

Premier John Horgan cites salmon farm closures as model, opposition points to LNG, contracts

Indigenous-led organizations and province announce initiative to get North Coast communities off oil

First Nations communities from Haida Gwaii to Bella Bella will be eligible

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Devils strike early, hang on for 2-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver now 0-8-3 in last 11 games versus New Jersey

Most Read