Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

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

Local poet and VIU professor Sonnet L’Abbé wrote and performed a song as part of the city’s Reimagine Nanaimo campaign. (Photo courtesy City of Nanaimo/Port Theatre)
Poet pens song as part of city’s Reimagine Nanaimo campaign

Sonnet L’Abbé encourages a friend to move to the city in ‘Nazaneen: A Song for Nanaimo’

Const. Joshua Waltman brings knowledge gained from working with people experiencing homelessness in Surrey to his new role as the RCMP’s mental health liaison officer in Nanaimo where he will work with people from across society who find themselves struggling with mental health crisis. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo RCMP’s mental health liaison says his role will take persistence and resilience

Const. Joshua Waltman talks about limiting anxiety and gaining trust of people in mental crises

Janice Perrino, Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation CEO, holds information brochures for the Light the Trees campaign, part of an effort to raise $5 million for the new intensive care unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Million-dollar donation has Light the Trees campaign off to a bright start in Nanaimo

Windsor Plywood Foundation supports Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation

Regional District of Nanaimo will be receiving $1.17 million from the B.C. government in COVID-19 safe restart grant money. (News Bulletin file)
Regional District of Nanaimo directors getting started on budgeting decisions

Proposed tax requisitions for 2021 range from 7.3-per cent increase to 2.2-per cent decrease

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

A rendering of a restaurant building making up part of a development permit application for 113 and 161 Island Highway in Parksville. (IAG Developments image)
Development application delayed for high-profile Parksville property

Council refers restaurant/RV campground application to staff for further improvements

Qualicum Beach resident Harold MacDougall won $75,000 off a Casino Royale II Scratch & Win ticket, purchased the ticket at Qualicum Foods on Memorial Avenue. (BCLC photo)
Qualicum Beach man $75K richer thanks to scratch-and-win ticket windfall

Winner plans on trips to Cape Breton and Scotland

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson takes her oaths of office virtually on Thursday. (B.C. Government YouTube screen shot)
Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson named B.C.’s mental health and addictions minister

Malcolmson succeeds Judy Darcy, who did not seek re-election

Vees goalkeeper Yaniv Perets stands watch while Tyler Ho takes the puck around the back of the net on Nov. 7. The BCHL press release did not name the player who tested positive.(Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Vees quarantining after player tests positive for COVID-19

The team, staff and billets are isolating while they are tested

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

Police in Nanaimo never know what they’ll encounter when called upon to check on the well-being of people. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo RCMP find ‘heart-breaking’ circumstances during wellness checks

Police offer sampling of outcomes from well-being checks over recent weeks

Most Read