A court case against ICBC was dismissed when the judge found no evidence that there was a second vehicle involved. (Black Press file photo)

Highway 1 accident case against ICBC dismissed

Judge finds no proof a second vehicle was involved in the accident

Judge Amy Francis dismissed a law suite against ICBC claiming damages that occurred from a car accident in December 2014.

The driver, Sophia Pakkala, claimed a semi truck veered into her lane forcing her off the road between Revelstoke and Crazy Creek Resort on the evening of Dec. 26, 2014. Unable to find the driver of the truck, Pakkala sued ICBC for damages.

However, Francis dismissed the claim in early June saying Pakkala failed to prove that there was in fact another driver and that they were at fault in the collision.

READ MORE: Liability found in 2010 fatal Highway 1 accident

There was only one other witness to the accident, Pakkala’s passenger and then boyfriend. His testimony was radically different to Pakkala’s and he claimed they decided to lie about the cause of the accident.

The judge also heard testimonies from the passengers’ mother and brother who picked up the duo and drove them home after the accident. It is unclear if the family members took the couple to the hospital or if a passersby on the highway took them.

The brother’s testimony aligned with the driver’s and the mother’s testimony aligned with the passengers, the judge said in her reasons for decision.

Two different experts in accident reconstruction looked at the case, both determined that Pakkala veered hard to the right but neither could confirm that another vehicle had been involved in the accident.

The judge also heard from the RCMP officer involved in the investigation. The accident had not been reported until the next day and the officer had no record that there was a passenger in the vehicle, which is a standard question they must ask.

READ MORE: Revelstoke man convicted of sexually assaulting drunk woman

“On all the evidence, I find that this was a single vehicle accident and Pakkala is solely at fault,” the judge said in her reason’s for judgment document.

Section 24 of the Insurance Vehicle Act allows for victims of accidents where there was property damage, injury or death to sue the insurance corporation when the identity of the driver or owner of the other vehicle is not known.

READ MORE: ‘Struggling to understand’: Family, UBC pay tribute to lecturer killed in northern B.C.



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