One man has found that running for a West Vancouver bus is a greater pain than waiting for the next one.
A B.C. Supreme Court justice found recently that Russell Heyman - a man who was struck by a blue bus three years ago - bore the brunt of responsibility for the accident.
Heyman, who was 41 at the time, was running to catch the number 251 bus to Vancouver on April 26, 2010, at Park Royal South at approximately 8 a.m. The six-foot, 300-pound man said the bus was stopped in front of the Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurant when it started to pull away from the curb. According to court documents, Heyman said he waved at the driver to stop but his hand came into contact with the bus causing him to spin around and fall to the ground. The bus's rear tires ran over Heyman's ankle and he suffered a broken shoulder.
Simon Cooper was driving the bus that day. He told the judge he saw Heyman running towards him, but company policy was that once all the passengers had been loaded at the stop, drivers were to close the doors and leave. Once away from the stop, drivers were not allowed to pick up any more passengers who might be running to catch the bus. Cooper said he heard a bang and saw a flash but did not see Heyman fall. The driver stopped when a passenger called out that someone had fallen under the bus. Cooper then got out and spoke to Heyman who was lying on the roadway.
Blake Goddard, owner and operator of Booster Juice, was out front of his store when he saw Heyman running to catch the bus. He said Heyman was not running very fast but was motioning for the bus to stop. As Heyman got closer, the bus pulled away and Heyman put out his hand, Goddard told the judge. The contact caused Heyman to fall on his torso on the sidewalk with his legs on the street, he said.
Justice Ronald Skolrood found Heyman 60 per cent responsible for the accident and Cooper 40 per cent responsible He said Heyman bore a greater degree of responsibility for the mishap because he struck the bus deliberately once it was in motion, demonstrating a lack of care for his own safety. In his decision, Skolrood wrote that Cooper's conduct was more of a lapse in judgment in failing to recognize a hazard. "The prudent course of action would have been to at least slow down..." wrote the judge.
But he concluded Heyman was more responsible for creating the hazard in the first place.
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