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

VIDEO: Chocolate smeared faces spoke to success of Fort Langley egg hunts

The historic site repeated its popular kids Easter celebration, complete with three candy scrambles

VIDEO: Langley firefighters spend hours battling blaze in vacant home

Cause of the late-night fire in Willoughby is still under investigation

LETTER: Faster and easier for Willoughby residents to shop in Pitt Meadows

Writer frustrated with traffic nightmares that have and continue to plague her growing neighbourhood

VIDEO: Fan support almost deafening as Giants take Game 2 in finals

Vancouver G-Men cap comeback with thrilling third period to beat Spokane 4-2 on home ice in Langley

Bobcats, bears, and otters, oh my!

Critter Care Wildlife Society’s 20th anniversary gala set for next Saturday in Langley

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Police say ‘no major incidents’ at 4/20, Vancouver Park Board assessing

The first smoke-out held since legalization saw 60,000 people at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

RCMP looking for witnesses to four-vehicle crash in Burnaby

Police suspect impaired driving was a contributing factor

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

Most Read