RCMP officer is mostly to blame for an accident, B.C. Supreme Court judge rules

VANCOUVER — A British Columbia judge has determined that an RCMP officer who was driving at almost 90 km/h over the speed limit shares most of the blame for a crash that destroyed a Calgary family's camper van.

The B.C. Supreme Court decision says Const. Chad Gorman was going 147 km/h in a 60 zone as he responded to a priority call when he crashed into the van in a Langley, B.C., intersection in July 2014.

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The driver of the van, Shiraz Meghji, his three family members and the officer all walked away from the crash in what Justice Bruce Butler says was a miracle.

Butler says in his decision released this week that the officer should take 80 per cent of the blame for the crash because he was travelling at such a high speed.

Twenty per cent of the blame goes to Meghji because he failed to drive through the intersection with sufficient care, although no damage award has been determined.

The judge says Meghji entered the intersection because he didn't see the officers car as being an immediate hazard.

"I have no hesitation in concluding that Const. Gorman breached the standard of care of a reasonable police officer in travelling on the Fraser Highway at 145 km/h on a weekday afternoon through a commercial and residential zone at a speed that was close to 90 km over the speed limit," the judge says, noting the officer passed a number of intersections without slowing.

Butler says the fact that it was a high priority situation doesn't give the officer the privilege of travelling at a speed that creates an unreasonable risk to the public.

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