The collision between a dirt bike and an ATV occurred on Violin Lake Road near Trail. (Google Maps)

Local man awarded $3 million after Violin Lake crash

Supreme Court Justice Grace Choi found ATVer Doria Newman 100 per cent liable for the accident

A local man has been awarded $3 million in damages five years after a life changing accident on Violin Lake Road.

Dirt bike rider Levon Bye had his left leg amputated after a crash with ATV driver Doria Newman on Aug. 26 , 2012. The men were rounding a blind corner heading in opposite directions when they collided.

In her Sept. 27 decision, Supreme Court Justice Grace Choi found Newman 100 per cent liable for the accident, stating, “I find that Mr. Newman breached the standard of care expected of an ordinary, reasonable, and prudent person by driving his ATV too quickly, and by crossing the centre of the road into the oncoming side around a blind corner. This breach caused the accident.”

Bye was launched from the bike on impact, likely hitting his leg on the upper area of the ATV that was damaged in the crash, according to the court document.

He was left with injuries than included a fracture to his neck and multiple leg fractures that required a through-knee amputation to much of his left leg.

Newman testified that he got off the ATV to help Bye, but lost consciousness.

Liability in this case turns on the sequence of events immediately before and after the crash, Choi wrote.

“When Mr. Bye and Mr. Newman collided, there were no other witnesses. Each has given a starkly differing account of how the collision occurred; therefore, the credibility and reliability of their testimony is critical in reconstructing what happened.”

After hearing both men’s account of the day, evidence from an accident reconstructionist, and witness statements, the judge stated she gave little evidence to the latter citing concerns about the reliability of their testimony.

Bye, 31 at the time of the accident, was an active man and employed as carpenter at Teck Trail Operations, Choi noted.

“The injuries from the accident have changed his life dramatically forever,” the judge stated. “He now suffers from daily pain and fatigue as a result of the amputation and is permanently disabled from returning to carpentry work and to many of his recreational activities. He testified that, before the accident, he enjoyed dirt biking, boating, hunting, fishing, hiking, and swimming, and that his injuries have either cut off, or severely limited his enjoyment of these.”

Bye was awarded $3,046,255 in damages, including $1.2 million for future income loss and $1.1 million for cost of future care.

The City of Trail was originally included in the action brought forward by Mr. Bye as the accident occurred on city-owned Violin Lake property.

The claim against the municipality was dismissed and the city’s legal costs were covered as part of its liability insurance.

The property is marked “No Trespassing,” and the access points are gated, confirmed Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff.

“The city continues to ensure that there is adequate signage in the area and maintains the gates,” he said. “Unfortunately, people ignore the signs and try to get around the gates and given the size of the property it is difficult to deal with enforcement.”

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Don’t travel to vacation homes or cabins, urges Kootenay Boundary district

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary asks residents not to travel to secondary homes

Multiple items on agenda at upcoming City of Rossland council meeting

New city hall and changes to property taxes some items on April 6 agenda

COVID-19 Business Support; Wage Subsidy

Wage Subsidy: A Dual System

Vandalism has Trail businesses seeking immediate action

Business community is asking for better security measures amid pandemic

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Most Read