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Firefighter awarded $1.2M ICBC claim after Alex Fraser Bridge accident

A firefighter and plumber was left with life-altering injuries after an oncoming truck crossed the concrete median in July 2018, leading to an accident.
The Alex Fraser Bridge, the scene of a July 2018 accident that left a man with life-altering injuries.

A man from Delta has been granted compensation of $1.2 million for injuries he sustained in a car accident on the Alex Fraser Bridge.

Much of Michael James Smith’s award is for loss of income, as he was a plumber and firefighter before the frightening incident that left him unable to work due to chronic pain and cognitive impairments.

On July 24, 2018, Smith was driving on the bridge connecting Delta to Richmond when a trailer truck in the opposite lane crashed into the concrete median between the lanes. Concrete was knocked into Smith’s lane and his truck “suffered a significant impact,” according to the Supreme Court of B.C. ruling on Nov. 27.

At fault was truck driver Benjamin Hoekstra, who made such admissions in court. However, Hoekstra’s defence counsel contested testimony by Smith’s wife — that Smith suffered cognitive issues.

“The defendant submits I should approach Ms. Moir’s evidence with caution as she is Mr. Smith’s wife and not an impartial witness. I recognize Ms. Moir’s relationship with her husband, but I found her evidence to be consistent with the independent evidence, reliable and persuasive. She struck me as an honest and forthright witness,” wrote Justice Michael Thomas.

The judge found Smith suffered enough injuries to compensate him for lost future wages amounting to $790,000. He also got $120,000 for income previously lost and $200,000 for non-pecuniary loss, among other smaller claims.