The Vancouver police report was useless.
No witnesses to the bicycle and car collision were called to the trial.
The two people who figured in the accident testified, and each had the impression of being hit by the other.
In the end, a B.C. Supreme Court was left with what justice William Ehrcke described as “one telling piece of circumstantial evidence”.
According to Ehrcke’s ruling posted online Thursday (April 25), that was Elizabeth Banas’ testimony that the “only damage on her car was a scratch on the left side of the car at the front”.
“Assuming that this scratch was caused by the impact with the bicycle, the location of the scratch appears to be more consistent with the car hitting the bicycle rather than the other way around,” Ehrcke wrote.
“Since the scratch is on the front left rather than the front right of the car, it can be inferred that the bicycle must have passed in front of the car just before the impact, and in that case, the bicycle must have been there for the defendant to see, at least for a brief moment, before the collision,” the judge noted.
Ehrcke found it “significant” that Banas said that she did not see cyclist Thomas Ernst Kriedemann.
“In my view, the fact that the defendant did not see the bicycle at all, despite the fact that at least momentarily it was directly in her path just before impact, is sufficient, in the absence of other evidence, to establish on a balance of probabilities that the accident was caused by her negligence,” according to Ehrcke.
Therefore, “on a balance of probabilities”, Banas was “wholly at fault for the collision” for the collision at the intersection of 41st Avenue and Willow Street on a clear day on November 19, 2015.
Banas was driving northbound on Willow Street on board her red Nissan Versa, and was turning left onto 41st Avenue. Kriedemann was going in a southbound direction, crossing 41st Avenue.
“He spent five days in hospital following the collision,” Ehrcke wrote about Kriedemann, now 57 years old. “He sustained injuries affecting his head, neck, left shoulder, chest, back, and ribs. He complains of on-going pain and disability. Some of this is soft-tissue injury, but in addition, he had fractured ribs, both left and right, and fractured transverse processes of two thoracic vertebrae.”
Kriedemann sought damages totaling $397,130.
Of that said amount, the man claimed $200,000 for loss of opportunity and earning capacity.
However, Ehrcke did not give him a dollar under that type of damages. The cyclist was unemployed at the time of the accident. Also, “even apart from the accident, there was no realistic possibility” that the man’s declared stamps business will become a viable venture.
Ehrcke ruled that Kriedeman is entitled to damages amounting to $127,630.