Vancouver law courts. (File photo)

Vancouver law courts. (File photo)

Judge rules Kelowna RCMP not liable in 2015 high-speed crash on Highway 1 near Abbotsford

Passenger who was injured said police were negligent following drug arrest

A passenger in a car that crashed near Abbotsford in 2015 has lost her bid to find the RCMP partly liable for the accident after releasing her and two other people from custody when drugs were allegedly found in their vehicle.

Amira Nagi Plante, also known as Amira Nagem, was badly injured in the crash that took place May 18, 2015.

Court documents state that Nagem was a passenger in a car driven by her husband, Karey Clyne, and owned by Corey Leigh McKenzie.

Clyne had borrowed the vehicle, while another friend drove him and Nagem to Kelowna on May 17, 2015.

The documents state that the three arrived in Kelowna around 1 a.m. on May 18, and parked. Two RCMP officers encountered the group and found drugs in the car, according to the court records.

Police also seized other items that included $1,350 in cash from Nagem.

The trio were arrested for possession for the purpose of trafficking and taken to the nearby RCMP detachment. Nagem and Clyne were released around 4 a.m. and given the keys to the car.

The documents state they were heading to Burnaby, and Clyne was driving at about 180 km/hr on Highway 1 near Abbotsford when the car left the road, went into the grass median and flipped.

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Clyne stated during his examination for discovery that he had fallen asleep at the wheel, according to the documents.

Justice Nitya Iyer in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver recently found that Clyne and McKenzie were liable for the crash, but did not agree with Nagem that the RCMP should also be found responsible.

“She (Nagem) says that the RCMP owed her a duty of care when releasing her from custody, that they breached the standard of care and that the breach caused or contributed to the injury she suffered in the accident,” the judge stated in her ruling.

Nagem had argued that police were negligent when they gave the car keys to her when they knew she did not have a driver’s licence; failed to check the driving status of Clyne, who was under an indefinite driving prohibition at the time; and released them in the middle of the night knowing they were not Kelowna residents and most of their cash had been seized.

The judge concluded that there was no connection to “an injury that occurred while she was no longer under police control or supervision.”

Iyer said the RCMP “did not owe a duty of care to the plaintiff in the circumstances of this case.”

“There was no evidence that there is a greater likelihood of unsafe driving on long drives than on short drives. There was no evidence that people who are prohibited from driving are more likely to drive unsafely than people who are not prohibited,” she stated.

The documents state that neither Clyne nor McKenzie appeared in court, and that Nagem reached a settlement with a “third party.”

There are no records in the provincial court database of charges or convictions for Clyne or Nagem for the Kelowna arrest.

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