Surrey truck driver sued in 2012 death of Mountie

VANCOUVER — Canada’s attorney general is suing the driver of a semi-trailer involved in a head-on collision that killed an on-duty Surrey RCMP police officer two years ago.

Const. Adrian Oliver, 28, was killed when his RCMP police cruiser was hit by a transport truck being driven by Surrey resident Harjit Singh Lotay, who is named in the civil suit filed in B.C. Supreme Court on Nov. 10.

Lotay, 57, was working for Abbotsford company Heaven Transport Ltd. at the time, which is named as vicariously liable in the suit.

Just before 5 a.m. on Nov. 13, 2012, Oliver was driving an unmarked 2010 Ford Crown Victoria RCMP cruiser westbound on 64th Avenue in Surrey approaching the intersection at 148th Street, while Lotay was operating a 2006 Freightliner semi-trailer driving in the opposite direction.

At some point within or near the intersection, the civil claim alleges, Lotay "negligently" drove the defendant’s vehicle to its left in an effort to travel northbound on 148th Street, and in doing so crossed directly into the path of Oliver.

The suit alleges negligence for failure to look for Oliver’s vehicle; driving without due care and attention and without reasonable consideration for other motorists; making or attempting to make a left turn in a manner inconsistent with the Motor Vehicle Act; failing to yield the right of way to an RCMP vehicle, as well as failing to observe or have any sufficient regard for the presence and position on the road of the RCMP vehicle; failing to prevent a collision "when he knew or ought to have known that such a collision was likely or imminent."

The suit also alleges negligence for driving a motor vehicle while Lotay’s ability to drive was impaired by alcohol, drugs, medication, fatigue, illness or any combination of each.

The federal government is seeking general damages, costs, interest, and further relief as the court deems just. The suit also seeks special damages for the loss of the police car, which was unrepairable, as well as expenses related to refitting a replacement vehicle for policing purposes.

Oliver was the fifth Surrey Mountie to die while on duty since the federal agency began policing in this city in 1951. He had been with the Surrey RCMP for three and a half years, as a general duty officer with C Watch.

He was survived by his mother, father and two brothers, including his twin Ben Oliver, who is also an RCMP police officer.

—with file from Tom Zytaruk

Twitter @adrianmacnair


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