Guenther Motzek isn’t out a heap of cash as a result of damage caused to his driveway culvert by a motorist who was cited for driving while impaired.
He figures the bag of cement cost him around $12; and, he already had extra cement blocks to effect the repairs.
But the senior is frustrated neither ICBC nor the City of Surrey would take any responsibility for the work.
“Neither the municipality or ICBC would do anything, for the stupid reason the person who caused the report did not put a claim in,” Motzek, 81, said. “I finally said, ‘the heck with it – I’ll do it myself.’”
The frustration began April 6 when Motzek woke to discover a driver had lost control and gone off the road in front of his home in the 12400-block of 24 Avenue. According to police, the crash occurred just after 1 a.m. A 35-year-old New Westminster woman received an Immediate Roadside Prohibition – a 90-day driving ban, and her vehicle seized for 30 days – in connection with the incident.
Motzek said when he called ICBC about the damage, he was told there was nothing they could do, as the driver, who reportedly wasn’t injured, hadn’t submitted a claim. It was suggested Motzek go through his home insurance, he said.
City officials told him that since he had the original culvert installed, even though it is on city land, it was up to him to get it fixed, he said – a point police confirmed.
“Any alteration made other than by the city would be unauthorized,” Surrey RCMP Cpl. Drew Grainger said. “The city has lost no assets as a result of this.”
Since the culvert is not on Motzek’s property, home insurance would likely not cover it, Grainger said.
Motzek – who has lived on the property for 23 years – and at least one neighbour are not impressed.
“There’s just something not right about it,” said Al Wakelin, a neighbour who helped Motzek with the repairs. “Everybody bucking responsibility on an 81-year-old senior that’s more than paid his dues.”
Wakelin noted a city road sign also damaged in the crash was repaired the next day.
ICBC spokesperson Lindsay Olsen told Peace Arch News the city, as the property owner, can file a claim for damages.
Olsen said, typically, residents whose own property is damaged by an ICBC-insured driver should call the corporation’s Dial-A-Claim line. With information collected there, “we would investigate the loss which may include contacting the driver and confirming the amount of the damage,” Olsen said by email.
Motzek said the city has since promised to repair ruts caused by the crash, and he has put the whole ordeal behind him.
“It’s a very bizarre story,” Motzek said. “You spend three, four days, you’re mad like hell… In the end, what can you do?”