Injured Chilliwack woman awarded $219K from distracted driving crashes

Injured Chilliwack woman awarded $219K from distracted driving crashes

Both incidents werecaused by young drivers handling their electronic devices

A Chilliwack woman has been awarded more than $200,000 in damages for suffering two distracted driving crashes in less than two years.

Alexandra Nicole Viola Todoruk of Chilliwack used to enjoy “a physically active life” in her last years of high school where she enjoyed running, skiing and wakeboarding.

But now the 24-year-old Todoruk takes Tylenol daily and suffers headaches most days after she was injured in separate crashes that were both caused by drivers being distracted by their electronic devices.

Todoruk was riding as a passenger in the front seat in both incidents, according to court documents.

In the first crash, the defendant Mark Voronov was changing a song on his iPod on July 14, 2012. He ran a red light, and hit the side of a car in an intersection.

But it was the second once, that had more lasting effects.

Defendant Hayley Jones was speaking on her cell phone on Aug. 15, 2013 as she drove along the Lougheed Highway. Todoruk remembered telling Jones to get off the phone, and that was her last memory as the vehicle in front of them braked suddenly, and they hit it. Both airbags were deployed and the hood crumpled.

Todoruk’s left side hit the console, and she suffered an abrasion to her abdomen.

“She climbed over her friend to exit the vehicle,” according to court documents. “She sat in a state of shock at the accident scene. An ambulance transported her to the hospital on a spinal board.”

Todoruk said she immediately felt pain in her left leg, neck, rib and back. The pain spread to her right shoulder and arm, and then extended to the fingers of her right arm. After a few days she began to feel tension headaches behind her eyes. The headaches were often preceded by a tingling on the right side of her face and pain on the right side of her neck.

READ MORE: First offence will cost $578 for distracted driving

“All of these conditions persist today to various degrees,” B.C. Supreme Court Justice David Crerar said in his ruling Dec. 16. “She suffers headaches most days. These are usually mild but sometimes acute.”

There was no question of liability which had been admitted in both crash incidents. The only question was the amount of damages to be awarded by Justice Crerar.

Of the total $219,000 awarded to Todoruk, her “ loss of future earning” capacity amounted to $120,000 which is $3,000 per year for more than 40 years of employment. There was $80,000 for pain and suffering, and $10,000 for her care in the future.

“That figure is a reasonable reflection of the plaintiff’s limitation in employment prospects, and need for accommodation, due to her injuries, taking into account the limited contingency that her conditions may improve in future,” Justice Crerar said in ruling about the total award. “This figure is if anything conservative given analogous case law concerning female plaintiffs in their mid-20s who suffered chronic soft-tissue injuries to their backs which limited their abilities to sit or lift and who lacked a consistent job history or a clear future earnings trajectory.”

READ MORE: What constitutes distracted driving in B.C.?


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

The Seattle Cossacks are a popular portion of the Hope Brigade Days parade. Some form of a community parade may still take place, say organizers. (Standard file photo)
Hope’s Brigade Days once again hit by pandemic concerns

Main event cancelled, but there is a glimmer of hope some events could happen

(Submitted)
Looking back on a rural nursing career in Hope

After a career spent working at Fraser Canyon Hospital, Jo-Dee Chisholm retires

B.C. Wildfire Services shows a fire on Chehalis Forest Service Road as of Sunday, May 16, 2021. (BC Fire Services)
UPDATE: Fire near Harrison Mills grows to 3 hectares

Resident near wildfire: ‘I pray that the Creator brings rain as soon as possible’

Justin Bond’s Bahrain 1 took a team around a year to construct. It gets its name because the Sheik of Bahrain is a major sponsor of the team. / Photo courtesy of Justin Bond.
Mission dragracer wins Atlanta race, ousts back-to-back world champion

Justin Bond goes quarter-mile in 5.738-seconds, beating champ Stevie ‘Fast’ Jackson on home turf

Jamie and Erin O’Neill, who are renting a 107-year-old house at 45837 Knight Rd., are wanting to save it from the wrecking ball and move it when it comes time for the owners of the house to build a new house on the property. They are pictured here outside the home on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack couple wants to save 107-year-old home from demolition, asking for community support

O’Neills have less than year to find new property, raise funds to move Knight Road house

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of May 16

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigating after man found dead in Surrey following a wellness check

IIO says officers ‘reportedly spoke to a man at the home before departing’

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Most Read