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West Vancouver woman struck by BMW driver inside Whole Foods speaks out

Jasmine Osterman said she’s been let down by ICBC and local police
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West Vancouver police oversee the removal of a BMW after the driver crashed through West Vancouver's Park Royal Whole Foods, June 9. The woman sent to hospital in the crash in now speaking out.| @didur_greg/Twitter

The woman struck by an out-of-control BWM driver inside Park Royal’s Whole Foods is speaking out about her ordeal and the fallout from it.

Jasmine Osterman was picking out tomatoes just before noon on June 9 when the driver of the black BMW drove through the staff entrance and into the store.

“I heard a big boom, which I thought was actually a bomb, and I did a 180 and I was covered in dust and glass and flying produce,” she said. “It came barreling down the produce aisle at Whole Foods straight towards me.”

Osterman said she tried to jump out of the way but got pinned between the vehicle and some tables that had been in the store.

“And I honestly thought I was going to die,” she said.

She survived but with a very deep laceration, requiring 21 stitches to close.

ICBC blamed

In the days and weeks after though, Osterman said she has been let down by the services she was expecting to be available as she tried to recover, starting with ICBC putting the onus on her to call and make a claim for care herself.

“You’re really in no mental or physical condition to make the first call to ICBC to put in a claim. This is inhumane,” she said.

Osterman, a former nurse, said she knew she would need aftercare for her wound, but she ICBC failed to provide any. She told them she did not want anyone coming to her home, but she would like to have dinners delivered while she recovered, which never happened.

Osterman blames the province’s change to a no-fault insurance system in 2021, and said she gets the feeling her adjuster was trying to reduce the benefits she’d have available to her under the ICBC’s enhanced accident benefits guide, “which is a bunch of malarkey,” she said.

“I just don’t understand how we live in a world where you can upend somebody’s life, and it’s nobody’s fault,” she said. “It seems to me that I was at fault for being inside a store and shopping and getting injured, because the driver is not culpable and ICBC is not culpable.”

Osterman said ICBC also wouldn’t compensate her for her pants, which had to be disposed of after the collision because they were cut up and soaked in blood, unless she showed the original receipt for them.

“The whole approach ICBC has taken to the claim is very insensitive, very dehumanizing,” she said.

The province should be pressured to go back to the old system, she added.

ICBC provided the North Shore News with a written response to Osterman’s complaints on Friday.

“We understand that Mrs. Osterman is going through a challenging time after being injured in a crash last month. We’re committed to working with her care team and doing everything we can to support her in her recovery and ensure she receives all of the benefits available under Enhanced Care,” reads the statement.

“We appreciate that Mrs. Osterman is frustrated by the end of lawsuits that came into effect more than two years ago when Enhanced Care was implemented on May 1, 2021. Under the former litigation-based model, there is no certainty Mrs. Osterman would be receiving the care and recovery she needs now and over her lifetime. If she were to sue under the former model, a trial would have taken years and her lawyer would take one-third of any settlement as fees.”

West Vancouver Police called out

Osterman said she also hasn’t seen enough follow up from West Vancouver police on the details of their investigation, which is still ongoing. No ticket has been issued or charges sworn yet but the BMW has been sent for a mechanical inspection.

“When you’re on the receiving end of something like this, it is really important to have closure,” she said. “To start to heal, I need to know a lot of these answers. What happened? Why did it happen?”

The driver was in his 80s. Osterman said if declining cognitive abilities were a factor in the crash, the government should be more proactive about retesting for senior drivers to protect the wider public.

All Osterman said she’d received from Whole Foods, meanwhile, was one free delivery of groceries to her home.

brichter@nsnews.com

twitter.com/brentrichter