Cyclist in West Van hit-and-run sues driver and ICBC

North Shore News


West Vancouver police circulated this photo in June 2017 of a bike involved in a hit-and-run that sent its rider to hospital. Now, the Cyclist is suing the driver as well as ICBC. photo supplied

A cyclist who was injured after being struck from behind by a truck in West Vancouver in June of 2017 has filed lawsuits against both the driver of the truck and ICBC.

Cyclist Eric Latta is suing the driver and ICBC, saying their negligence caused the accident, which left him seriously injured, causing pain and suffering and loss of income.

In separate lawsuits filed the same day, Latta is also suing ICBC for “medical, rehabilitation and disability benefits” incurred to date, which he claims the insurance corporation has refused to pay.

Latta filed the civil claims in B.C. Supreme Court Nov. 27.

Latta states in both lawsuits that he was cycling westbound on Bellevue Avenue in West Vancouver near the intersection of 19th Avenue on June 10, 2017 when he was struck by a vehicle “owned and negligently driven” by either William McEachnie or an unknown person.

That negligence may have included failing to yield, following too closely, driving without due care and attention, speeding, driving without proper brakes, driving while using an electronic device, driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs or fatigue and/or driving without proper corrective lenses, according to Latta’s statement of claim.

As a result of the accident, Latta suffered fractured ribs, a herniated disk in his neck, injuries to his back, hips, pelvis, hand and ankle, whiplash, and a concussion resulting in headaches, nausea and problems with sleep, memory and concentration, according to the lawsuit.

The cyclist is seeking damages for pain and suffering, loss of income and costs of future care as well as costs of medication and rehabilitation expenses.

In one of the lawsuits – which only names ICBC – Latta claims he has already asked ICBC to pay for medical, rehabilitation and disability benefits but the insurance corporation has refused to pay them, “despite having been provided with the appropriate documentation required to substantiate the claim,” according to the suit.

None of the allegations in the statement of claims have been proven in court and no responses to the lawsuit have been filed as of Wednesday.

The criminal trial for McEachnie, charged with one count of failing to stop at the scene of an accident involving bodily harm, was held this fall in North Vancouver provincial court.

In that trial, Latta testified he was just minutes from home following a three-and-a-half hour triathlon training ride to Richmond and back when the crash happened.

The Crown’s case hinges on proving that McEachnie was the one driving his truck at the time, that he knew he had injured someone and that he fled the scene in an attempt to escape liability, according to the prosecutor.

McEachnie has testified he was not behind the wheel on the night of the crash.

A verdict in the case is expected in January.