In July 2011, an entire family on vacation in British Columbia was wiped out in a crash that involved a big rig in Kootenay National Park. An American family — parents and two daughters ages 9 and 11 — lost their lives when the driver of a semi-trailer failed to maintain control of his vehicle and crashed into their car. Similar accidents often result in a cross-border personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
The brother of the deceased father of two is now trying to get authorities to lower speed limits for large vehicles. Reportedly, the driver of the truck that killed the family was driving within the 80 kph speed limit as posted on Highway 93 where the accident occurred. However, authorities said better training would have taught him to drive even slower in the wet weather conditions of that day. It would have prepared him for the dangers posed by the steep part of this rain-slicked curvy route.
Records show that the big rig had two attached trailers. The truck driver entered a curve on the road at a speed that was much too fast for the conditions. When he realized his mistake, he stopped accelerating and the engine brake activated. When the truck jackknifed, the two trailers that it was hauling were propelled into the oncoming traffic. It smashed into the car of the American family, killing all four.
It is impossible to comprehend the level of trauma such a tragedy can cause for surviving family members. In addition, the unanticipated financial challenges can be overwhelming for those who are left to take charge of the end-of-life arrangements. Pursuing wrongful death lawsuits may be appropriate in similar circumstances. However, cross-border personal injury or wrongful death claims can be difficult to navigate in British Columbia without the support and guidance of lawyers experienced in handling these types of claims.
Source: CBC News British Columbia, “Brother of crash victim urges B.C. truckers to slow down“, Yvette Brend, July 20, 2017