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ICBC blames highway bike death on cyclist negligence in civil lawsuit

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October 28, 2015 - 9:30 AM

VANCOUVER - British Columbia's public auto insurer says a cyclist's own carelessness led him to be run down and killed by an alleged impaired driver on a B.C. highway.

The Insurance Corp. of British Columbia responded to a lawsuit filed against it earlier this year by arguing that Ross Chafe may have been cycling under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the May 31 collision.

ICBC's court document continues with a variety of other claims, including that Chafe's brakes were possibly faulty and that he might not have been riding legally, staying as close as possible to the road's shoulder.

"He was operating the said cycle while his ability to drive was impaired by alcohol, drugs, fatigue, illness or any combination thereof," read the response to civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court on earlier this month.

"He was operating the said cycle without proper care and attention or without reasonable consideration for others using the highway."

Chafe was out for a weekend ride with two others along Highway 99 about 50 kilometres north of Whistler when his group was hit by a vehicle alleged to have been driven by Samuel Alec.

Chafe's wife, Lizanne Bussieres, has launched legal action against Alec, ICBC and the vehicle's owner, Carmen Ned, for negligence.

Bussieres alleged Ned was aware Alec was impaired and still allowed him to use the vehicle, which she argued wasn't properly maintained.

Court documents indicate she filed the lawsuit on behalf of herself and her three children, who are 11, 15 and 17 years old.

Bussieres wants compensation for the loss of guidance, support, household assistance and inheritance, as well as special damages for funeral and memorial service costs.

None of the allegations have been proven in court and neither Ned nor Alec have filed statements of defence.

The collision also killed Chafe's fellow cyclist Kelly Blunden and Paul Pierre Jr., who was riding in the vehicle's passenger seat.

In August, RCMP charged Alec with a string of offences, including impaired driving causing death, criminal negligence causing death and failure to remain at the scene of an accident.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press

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