The damaged bus stop at the scene of the February 2014 crash that injured a man

The damaged bus stop at the scene of the February 2014 crash that injured a man

$405K awarded to man hit by truck at Surrey bus stop

An elderly man struck down by a pickup truck while waiting for a bus on Scott Road has been awarded more than $405,000, and counting

SURREY — An elderly man struck down by a pickup truck while waiting for a bus on Scott Road has been awarded more than $405,000, and counting, by a B.C. Supreme Court judge for the severe injuries he suffered in the hit-and-run crash.

Harry Sangra, 85, was standing at a bus shelter near the intersection of 75A Avenue and Scott Road in Surrey on Feb. 23, 2014. He had been visiting his younger brother in Surrey and was waiting for a bus to take him back to Vancouver when he was struck down.

The defendants in the case were Scott Lima and his sister Christine Sine, who owned the large Dodge Ram pickup truck Lima had been driving, with her consent, when Lima hit Sangra. Justice Paul Walker found her vicariously liable to Sangra for her brother’s conduct.

The Insurance Corporation of BC determined Lima was in breach of his insurance policy when he struck Sangra.

Walker noted Sangra was an “exceptionally healthy and active” married man before Lima crashed into him. “He suffered devastating injuries, including a brain injury, which nearly cost him his life.”

The court heard that before Lima hit Sangra,  he rear-ended a 1992 Volvo 740, also on Scott Road, at a speed of somewhere between 80 and 90 kilometres an hour.

The Volvo, which was travelling much slower, spun 180 degrees and was written off. The court heard Lima took off after hitting the Volvo, not stopping to check on the father and child inside. Rather, he increased his speed and the truck spun in a way that its rear-end crashed into the bus shelter, roughly 100 feet from where Lima hit the Volvo.

Walker noted in his reasons for decision, which he revealed on Monday in Vancouver, that a witness said the pickup truck took off, with tires squealing, and turned left onto 75A Avenue.

The judge said Sangra had been thrown as far as 20 feet into the air before hitting the concrete sidewalk, where he lay unconscious, with his blood flowing into the snow, before being rushed to Royal Columbia Hospital with “severe and life-threatening injuries to nearly all areas of his body.”

Walker noted that before the crash Sangra, despite his years, was still quite athletic, regulary swimming and working out at a gym. He had lived in Port Alberni for a while, where he was vice-president of the society that ran the Sikh temple there.

Rushed to RCH, Sangra underwent multiple urgent surgeries for his many injuries, which included liver damage, brain damage, fractures to his spine, skull, face, pelvis and ribs, a torn rotator cuff, damage to his spleen, and multiple cuts — some of them severe. He was in a coma for 10 days. Walker noted Sangra had suffered “profound bleeding and significant blood loss” as a result of the crash, as well as hearing loss, speech impairment and depression.

The judge agreed with Sangra’s lawyer that Lima’s account of what happened was “littered with enormous credibility issues.”

Lima testified he may have fallen asleep before hitting the Volvo and woke up only after hitting the bus shelter.

Walker noted that Lima admitted sole responsibility for both crashes; that he was driving in a careless manner, and should not have been driving “given the physical and mental condition that he was in at the time.

“Even if Mr. Lima woke up after he hit the bus shelter, it is clear from his testimony that he was only concerned for himself. He did not remain at the scene to determine the extent of the damage he had caused,” Walker determined.

Lima told the court he knew the bus shelter was damaged but didn’t stop because he was “scared for himself.”

Walker awarded Sangra $405,222.49 in damages, plus $2,000 more for each year of the rest of his life.

There will be more compensation as the award for cost of Sangra’s future care has yet to be finalized.

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

Just Posted

Rahim Manji owns and operates the Hollywood 3 Cinemas in Newton, along with the Caprice in South Surrey, a theatre in Duncan and another in Pitt Meadows. “I think right now it feels different than last June, it just does,” Manji said. “I’m a lot more optimistic, with more people calling, more people out and getting vaccinated, so I think the comfort level is a lot better.” (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey movie theatre operators reopen and rejoice, even with 50-max capacity

‘We have been one of the hardest-hit industries’

(Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police searching for Surrey woman missing at Centennial Beach

Wenyan Lan, 54, reported missing when she didn’t come home from a crabbing/clam digging trip June 14

Outdoor vendors at the Cloverdale Flea Market are seen in this bird’s eye view image from the flea market’s Facebook page.
Cloverdale Flea Market to reopen

Market to open June 20 after being closed since Nov. 2020

Ian MacDonald, spokesman for Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Surrey Police Service launches public consultation campaign

This is to help the SPS form its first strategic plan

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say missing 13-year-old has been found and is safe

Steven Vail was last seen at 8 a.m. after arriving at Frank Hurt Secondary but did not show up for his 8:30 a.m. class.

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Most Read