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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Free Abbotsford tax-prep program to start accepting appointments

People with low incomes can start booking Feb. 18 for slots in March and April

City contemplates new parking rules for daycares

Location of expanded daycare sparks safety concerns for Barkman, but others say spaces much needed

Abbotsford firefighters will Climb the Wall for BC Lung Association

Crews will walk 48 storeys of Wall Centre while wearing their gear

Chemical distribution facility gets approval from Abbotsford council

Fire chief and mayor says no safety concern about ethanol distribution facility

Abbotsford’s We Are Hockey exhibit closing on Family Day

UFV SASI hosted exhibit set to end run with free event on Feb. 17

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

VIDEO: Giants win 10th straight on home ice in Langley

Family Day was about spending time with the fans and dazzling them with a 3-2 victory over Seattle

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Most Read