Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

A B.C. driver who admitted he failed to stop for an ambulance because his radio was playing too loud has lost his bid to recover a higher insurance premium.

Sean Weatherill’s 2015 Jeep Cherokee and a BC Ambulance collided at a busy Richmond intersection the morning of May 27, 2016, according to documents filed earlier this month through the B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal.

Weatherill was travelling east under a green light, when a northbound ambulance with its lights and sirens on entered the intersection on a red light. The vehicles crashed and the Jeep hit a light post.

Following an investigation by an arbiter, ICBC placed 100-per-cent fault for the crash on Weatherill, saying he failed to yield to the ambulance.

Weatherill argued the driver of the ambulance was at least 75-per-cent responsible. He also sought a $300 refund on his increased insurance premiums, a refund of $300 for an insurance deductible, and $275 for work he missed because of the collision.

He said in small claims court he didn’t know the ambulance was nearby until it was in the intersection, and that it was changing between two types of sirens as it drove. He argued this could have led to a gap between sounds as it approached.

He said he scanned for hazards before entering the intersection, and did not see any dangers.

He acknowledged he did not hear the ambulance because of the Jeep’s sound-proofing, his radio, which was playing loudly, and background noise.

By the time he was in the intersection, he quickly determined he should speed through instead of locking up his brakes and causing a “T-bone situation” or a rear-ender.

In her decision, B.C. Civil Rights Tribunal member Kate Campbell sided with the original arbiter, who heard from two witnesses that the sirens were on as the ambulance entered the intersection.

Weatherill made a judgment in the moment that it would be better to speed up and try to avoid the collision, she wrote, but laws state a driver must stop for emergency vehicles.

“This is not optional. By proceeding through the intersection and not stopping, regardless of the reason, Mr. Weatherill failed to yield.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

BC Ferries confirms Northern Sea Wolf ready for summer season

The plan is to have the Northern Sea Wolf assume the mid-coast service as of May 18

Historic building in Alexis Creek destroyed by fire overnight

“If it hadn’t been a heavy rain last night we could have lost many houses in the area”

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

OP-ED: Striking a balance with the oil tanker moratorium

Dennis Patterson, Senator for Nunavut, on protecting Canada’s environment and economy with Bill C-48

Dashcam captures close call between minivan, taxi at busy Vancouver intersection

To make the footage more nerve-wracking, a pedestrian can be seen standing at the corner

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

Most Read