Motorist loses lawsuit against Surrey, sewer truck driver

Judge finds plaintiff "did not drive with due care and attention."

Lawsuit centered on car 'crunched' by Surrey sewer truck

NEW WESTMINSTER — A motorist whose car was “crunched” by a sewer maintenance truck has lost her lawsuit against the City of Surrey and its employee driver.

Roshan Ara Ari sued the city and Rajinder Sandhu in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster over a traffic crash that happened in the 9500-block of Scott Road on Aug. 30, 2012. Justice Martha Devlin presided.

Both motorists had been exiting the parking lot of Scott Town Plaza. Sandhu, a city flush truck for five years, was making a right turn with his 40-foot truck, carrying hoses and tanks used to service sewer pipes when the crash happened.

The court heard he was servicing sewer pipes from the manholes running parallel to Scott Road and had two employees from DL Safety working with him, directing traffic to make sure he could pull onto the street safely,

Ali was behind the truck but rather than waiting for him to complete his right hand turn, attempted to pass him on right side. There was a crunch, and the right side tank of the truck collided with her car, pushing it into a pole on Scott Road.

Ali testified a flag person was on Scott Road and insisted there were no turning signals activated on the truck. She told the court she drove to the right of the truck as she noticed it moving to the left, and had assumed it was turning left.

She testified she then saw the truck’s reverse lights go on and it reversed into her car as she was moving. She said she honked, but Sandhu didn’t stop. She told the court she heard no beeping alarm, but in cross-examination explained that her windows were closed.

During cross-examination Ali agreed it was possible she didn’t notice the truck’s right turn signal but did notice flashing warning signs and that the location of the flag person suggested the truck was going to turn right.

Sandhu told the court he checked his mirrors and as he turned right, heard a “crunch”

He didn’t hear honking, he said, nor did he back up.

The judge found Sandhu “had a good recall of the events related to the accident.”

As for Ali, she decided, “There was no evidence to substantiate her version of events.”

Devlin found Ali had caused the crash “by passing on the right when it was unsafe to do so.”

“I accept that Mr. Sandhu had activated his right turn signal, had checked the surrounding area and determined that it was safe to turn right prior to commencing the turn,” Devlin found.

“I find that Ms. Ali’s conduct establishes that she did not drive with due care and attention, and with reasonable consideration for other motorists. In particular, she chose to pass the truck and attempt to turn right despite the fact that there were ample indications from the truck and the safety personnel in the area that it was not safe to do so.”

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper

 

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