ICBC Law

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Street Racer Found Partly Liable for Other Vehicles Fatal Crash

Interesting reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, finding a street racer partly liable for the death of a passenger in another vehicle that he did not collide with.

In today’s case (Suran v. Auckland) Cadillac and a Chrysler 300 were involved in a street race.  Police subsequently blocked off the road and the driver of the Cadillac was apprehended  The driver of the Chrysler backed up and drove around the road block and “proceeded down a steep embankment and dropped over a retaining wall, before finally coming to rest at the bottom of a ravine.”.  A passenger in the vehicle  died when”he was unable to extricate himself from the vehicle when it caught fire. His body was found partially seated on the right front passenger’s seat area with his feet trapped between the right front passenger’s door and the ground.

The passenger’s family sued and both motorists were found partly to blame with the passenger himself being faulted with 25% contributory negligence.  In holding the driver of the Cadillac partly at fault for the death even though he was in police custody at the time Madam Justice Burke provided the following reasons:

[195]     I conclude Mr. Marwaha in the Cadillac and Mr. Auluck in the Chrysler 300 were engaged in a common (unlawful) course of action that ultimately precipitated the catastrophic accident and death of Mr. Suran. It was reasonably foreseeable, as argued by Ms. Suran, that participation by Mr. Marwaha in a street race at high speed on a busy street would attract police attention and action, which it did. It was also reasonably foreseeable that Mr. Auluck would flee the police as he did, based on his erratic and dangerous behaviour throughout the evening.

[196]     There is, therefore, sufficient proximity and foreseeability for Mr. Marwaha to be found partially liable for the accident. As he was indeed stopped by the police and could no longer participate in the race, I conclude Mr. Marwaha’s culpability for the accident lies at 10%.

 

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