Senior struck at Surrey bus stop 'lost his love of life': Judge

Senior struck at Surrey bus stop ‘lost his love of life’: Judge

Court awards Harry Sangra more than $405K in compensation for life-altering 2014 hit-and-run incident.

An 85-year-old man who suffered devastating injuries – including brain damage – when he was struck by a truck at a Surrey bus stop two years ago has been awarded more than $405,000 by a B.C. Supreme Court judge.

Harry Sangra was standing at a bus shelter near Scott Road and 75A Avenue after visiting his younger brother when he was struck.

According to a Dec. 14 court judgment, Scott Lima, now 25, was driving his sister Christine Sine’s truck northbound on Scott Road on Feb. 23, 2014 when he collided with a Volvo, causing it to spin 180 degrees into oncoming traffic.

Lima fled the scene without checking on the father and son in the Volvo. As he sped away, his truck spun, its rear end crashing into the bus shelter where Sangra was standing. Lima then accelerated away from that scene as well. He as arrested later after pulling over and walking to his sister’s place.

Sangra was left unconscious on the sidewalk, a sheet of glass from the bus shelter on top of him. Investigators estimated he had flown 10 to 20 feet from where he was struck.

Sangra was rushed to Royal Columbian Hospital with life-threatening injuries. He had massive internal bleeding, and underwent multiple urgent surgeries. He also suffered a brain injury, spine, skull, facial and pelvic fractures and numerous cuts. He was in an induced coma for 10 days.

Prior to the collision, Sangra, a retired heavy duty mechanic, led an active life, going to the gym and swimming regularly. He did most of the grocery shopping and housekeeping.

“To say that Mr. Sangra embraced life is an understatement,” said Justice Paul Walker.

That all changed after the crash.

“The collision has had a significant and most adverse effect on his life,” said Walker. “I was able to see glimpses of his humour and the person that he used to be. In spite of his own extraordinary efforts and those of his wife and son to help him recover, Mr. Sangra has lost his vitality, his love of life, and much of his physical mobility. He is depressed and at times has questioned his resolve to live.”

Sangra’s mobility is now limited, he can’t drive or maintain his house or car and needs help with his rehabilitation therapy at the gym and pool. He also has difficulty speaking and swallowing due to his injuries and angers more easily.

The judge agreed with Sangra’s lawyer that Lima’s recollection of what happened was “littered with enormous credibility issues, much of it a “concoction.” In his testimony, Lima admitted responsibility for the crashes. As the vehicle owner, Sine was vicariously liable for his conduct. The case was one of assessing damages.

Because Lima was in breach of his insurance policy at the time of the incident, ICBC was a third party in the case.

While Sangra’s future care requirements were outlined by an occupational therapist, ICBC and Sine (the vehicle owner) challenged the recommendations based on the opinion of another OT, Robert Gander.

Justice Walker, however, found Gander’s recommendations unreliable for multiple reasons.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Gander did not meet with Mr. Sangra, did not attend at his home, nor did he speak with his wife or family,” the judge said, adding the therapist had “minimal” experience dealing with patients suffering from brain injuries. “Mr. Gander conceded in cross-examination that he has never made a recommendation that any person of that age, or older, receive such care.”

The more-than $405,000 awarded to Sangra includes non-pecuniary and special damages, loss of past and future housekeeping ability, and in-trust awards for his wife and son. Further compensation for his future care has yet to be calculated.

 

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

Just Posted

Surrey-White Rock MLA-elect Trevor Halford and Surrey South MLA-elect Stephanie Cadieux have each been given a portfolio as an Opposition critic. (Contributed photos)
BC Liberals give Halford, Cadieux critic responsibilities

Surrey South and Surrey-White Rock MLAs to help keep eye on majority NDP government

Ed Holden owns and operates The Christmas Store at Potters, located on 48th Avenue in Surrey. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
‘B.C. Buy Local Week’ kicks off with urgent plea to holiday shoppers

‘Local businesses are just hanging on,’ says organizer of the week-long campaign

teaser
Contest-winning Christmas card revealed by Arts Council of Surrey

Watercolour painting by Andre Paulhus to grace cover, with verse written by Andre Paulhus

File photo
Man, 68, charged with arson, assault and threatening in Whalley summer fire

David Thind charged in connection with a house fire in the 13000-block of 112A Avenue on Aug. 28

(Delta Police Department photo)
Scam-savvy North Delta couple help would-be victims avoid Bitcoin fraud

Mike’s Convenience Store owners have stopped several folks from being scammed at their Bitcoin ATM

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Fatty Legs co-author responds to Abbotsford class assignment on residential schools

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. (Black Press Media files)
Judge hears Langley development case that could end in mayor, councillors booted out of council

The conflict of interest case was launched by local voters a year ago

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Still from a video surveillance camera of a man alleged to have stolen from several people at knife-point in Chilliwack (Rosedale) early on Nov. 28, 2020. (Facebook)
B.C. man defends his family against intruder, saves neighbour while wielding hockey stick

RCMP looking for footage that captures violent crime spree in Chilliwack

Harbour seals rest on log booms at Flavelle Mill in Port Hardy. With recent announcements the mill will be getting rid of the log booms, Dr. David Rosen sees an opportunity to study how the disappearance of this highly-frequented refuge for the seals will alter their behaviour in Burrard Inlet. (Photo supplied by David Rosen)
What the heck is going on with marine mamals in Vancouver waterways?

UBC researcher asks why they’re returning, and what role we’re playing

Most Read