Firefighters not at fault for pickup damaged getting out of the way: courts

A Langley resident sued for $5,000 after scraping her pickup

A Langley woman has lost a $5,000 lawsuit against the Township of Langley after she damaged her vehicle trying to get out of the way of a fire truck.

The woman told a Small Claims Civil Resolution Tribunal that a Township fire truck had “bullied” her through an intersection and damaged her pickup.

On July 24, 2017, the woman was driving her white Ford F350 pickup on 264th Street, and had stopped for a red light at an intersection.

The flashing lights of a fire truck appeared in her rear view mirror, and the woman said she pulled over to the right to allow the truck to pass her.

“According to the applicant, the fire truck was very close to her vehicle,” the tribunal’s Lynn Scrivener wrote in her judgment. “The applicant says the fire truck was creeping forward, which led her to assume there was not enough room for it to pass.”

So the pickup driver kept moving, saying she had “no choice” but to create space for the fire truck.

She felt a bump on the passenger side of her truck, where a sand-filled barrel and concrete barrier stood. After that, she decided the only way to get out of the fire truck’s way was to go through the intersection.

The incident left her with damage to the pickup’s passenger-side fender, running board, and door including scrapes, dents, and scratches.

She claimed $5,000 in damages for repairs.

The fire captain and driver of the pickup, however, didn’t remember the incident exactly the same way.

They were heading north responding to an emergency call. They waited until traffic in the southbound lane was clear before using that lane to get to the red light, where the driver stopped to make sure he could cross the intersection safely.

While they were waiting, the white pickup “sped north across the road,” according to the firefighters’ written testimony.

The fire truck then drove through the intersection, having confirmed there was no oncoming traffic.

The pickup driver admitted there was no contact between the fire truck and her Ford, Scrivener noted.

“There is no indication that the respondent’s employees [the firefighters] somehow directed the applicant to move her vehicle,” Scrivener wrote.

While she may have felt pressure to get out of the way, there’s no evidence the fire truck forced her to drive into the barriers, Scrivener found.

The claim for $5,000 was dismissed.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue explains BBQ blaze fire safety

Outdoor cooking safety needs fires extinguishers ready

Cloak-and-dagger ninja deliveries

Whining kids at home may be creating the need for wining moms at home

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Smithers woman awarded $55K in RCMP excessive force suit

Irene Joseph alleged false arrest and assault and battery related to a 2014 incident in Smithers

Flooding highly unlikely this year throughout Skeena watershed

Region’s snowpack among lowest in the province

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Most Read