Dania Ann Macie was hit by a car when she stopped to help another crash victim on the McGill Street on-ramp leading to the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge on Oct. 12, 2012. (Google Street View)

B.C. woman awarded $2M after stopping to help at car crash, getting hit herself

Good Samaritan, then 24 years old, had pulled over to give first aid in 2012 incident

A woman was awarded more than $2 million in damages after she stopped to help at a collision in 2012 and was struck by a vehicle herself.

Dania Ann Macie, then 24 years old, was driving to work at a community centre in North Vancouver one morning in October that year, heading for the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge, when she witnessed a man crash his car.

She knew first aid, so she pulled over and walked back to the crash site. She was standing, speaking to someone, when a vehicle hit her from behind.

“The impact threw her into the air. She travelled in the air about a car length before landing, face down,” said B.C. Supreme Court Justice George Macintosh in a ruling released Tuesday that illustrates how someone’s act of kindness can instead shatter how they plan to live their life.

“She does not remember the impact, or hitting the pavement. Her first memory was of lying on the pavement, face down.”

Macie, now 31, remembers very little about what happened, and has struggled significantly since.

ALSO READ: Driver who stopped to help B.C. car crash victim found, after family’s plea

She’d been studying to be a psychiatric nurse at Stenberg College in Surrey, and started experiencing headaches, irritability, and memory loss – having to “read and re-read everything.” She failed her exams and was eventually dismissed.

She also lost weight, couldn’t sleep, and became depressed.

Her ultimate difficulty became anxiety. The young woman, who’d grown up in Courtenay, said she suffered from panic attacks five times a week in which she just tries to “hold on.”

In 2018, she admitted herself to hospital because she thought she might self-harm.

At trial, the driver who hit her, Honorato Cruz DeGuzman, argued the crash had caused relatively minor injuries and damage, and that her present-day difficulties stemmed from “rebellious periods” in her teenage years, including depression, anxiety and other “troubles.”

The judge disagreed, saying she’d managed to get through that period, and pointing to the witnesses who described her as “outgoing” and an “achiever.”

He awarded her $2.07 million in general, special and other damages, noting the attorneys must calculate a lower total in loss of future earning capacity to reflect his finding that Macie would not have lost as much as she’d argued.

KEEP READING: Convicted B.C. gun dealer sues from prison over car crash injuries

Regardless, Macintosh wrote that the young woman had demonstrated, as both an adult and child, that she had an active intelligence and could lead a productive life.

He added: “But for the accident, the evidence shows that the plaintiff would probably be prospering today.”

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

No clear option to help more Rosslanders access recreation facilities in Trail: Report

Rossland residents have had to pay double the cost to use the facilities in recent years

Nelson’s American sister city faces COVID-19 culture war

In Sandpoint, Idaho, wearing a mask is about Black Lives Matter, gun rights, and COVID-19

B.C. village grants reprieve for those living in RVs

by JOHN BOIVIN Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

RDKB to spend $5,000 to review 2020 freshet response

The province is also kicking in $5,000 for the review of flood protection rollout and communications

Regional fire crews initiate rope rescue for stranded trio

Regional fire rescue recovered couple and their dog from steep cliff

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

COVID-19 could mean curtains for film and TV extras

Background performers worry they’re being replaced by mannequins on film and TV sets

Most Read