Injured Chilliwack woman awarded $219K from distracted driving crashes

Both incidents werecaused by young drivers handling their electronic devices

A Chilliwack woman has been awarded more than $200,000 in damages for suffering two distracted driving crashes in less than two years.

Alexandra Nicole Viola Todoruk of Chilliwack used to enjoy “a physically active life” in her last years of high school where she enjoyed running, skiing and wakeboarding.

But now the 24-year-old Todoruk takes Tylenol daily and suffers headaches most days after she was injured in separate crashes that were both caused by drivers being distracted by their electronic devices.

Todoruk was riding as a passenger in the front seat in both incidents, according to court documents.

In the first crash, the defendant Mark Voronov was changing a song on his iPod on July 14, 2012. He ran a red light, and hit the side of a car in an intersection.

But it was the second once, that had more lasting effects.

Defendant Hayley Jones was speaking on her cell phone on Aug. 15, 2013 as she drove along the Lougheed Highway. Todoruk remembered telling Jones to get off the phone, and that was her last memory as the vehicle in front of them braked suddenly, and they hit it. Both airbags were deployed and the hood crumpled.

Todoruk’s left side hit the console, and she suffered an abrasion to her abdomen.

“She climbed over her friend to exit the vehicle,” according to court documents. “She sat in a state of shock at the accident scene. An ambulance transported her to the hospital on a spinal board.”

Todoruk said she immediately felt pain in her left leg, neck, rib and back. The pain spread to her right shoulder and arm, and then extended to the fingers of her right arm. After a few days she began to feel tension headaches behind her eyes. The headaches were often preceded by a tingling on the right side of her face and pain on the right side of her neck.

READ MORE: First offence will cost $578 for distracted driving

“All of these conditions persist today to various degrees,” B.C. Supreme Court Justice David Crerar said in his ruling Dec. 16. “She suffers headaches most days. These are usually mild but sometimes acute.”

There was no question of liability which had been admitted in both crash incidents. The only question was the amount of damages to be awarded by Justice Crerar.

Of the total $219,000 awarded to Todoruk, her “ loss of future earning” capacity amounted to $120,000 which is $3,000 per year for more than 40 years of employment. There was $80,000 for pain and suffering, and $10,000 for her care in the future.

“That figure is a reasonable reflection of the plaintiff’s limitation in employment prospects, and need for accommodation, due to her injuries, taking into account the limited contingency that her conditions may improve in future,” Justice Crerar said in ruling about the total award. “This figure is if anything conservative given analogous case law concerning female plaintiffs in their mid-20s who suffered chronic soft-tissue injuries to their backs which limited their abilities to sit or lift and who lacked a consistent job history or a clear future earnings trajectory.”

READ MORE: What constitutes distracted driving in B.C.?


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

SHARE: Views offered from local dikes

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Sunny skies expected across Lower Mainland this week

After weeks of rain and smoke, Environment Canada forecasts clear skies and steady warm temperatures

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Ridge Meadows Hospital executive director an “out-of-the-box” thinker

Rich Dillon brings years of valuable experience with Vancouver Coastal Health

Maple Ridge volunteers honoured for decades of service

Community Services held special ceremonies for volunteers John Work and Rodger White

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read