Innisfil Beach Road is a typical southern Ontario road, laid out as a concession line by Governor Simcoe 220 years ago. It is straight as an arrow. My family had a cottage on it and I know it well; as the City of Barrie has sprawled it is now shared between recreational users and people driving home in a hurry.
18 months ago, 17 year old Brandon Majewski and two friends were riding home from a coffee shop at 1:30 in the morning, three abreast when they were hit from behind. He was killed, thrown over the roof of the car. Christie Blatchford writes for Postmedia:
A collision-reconstruction team from the South Simcoe Police Service investigated the crash; their 26-page report found that the “lack of visibility” of the cyclists “was the largest contributing factor,” and that on a dark overcast night, “the driver of the Kia did not see the cyclists on the roadway and was unable to make an evasive reaction.”The report says police consulted with a local Crown prosecutor, who told them there was “absolutely no reasonable prospect of conviction and that no charges should be laid.”
The parents say that the investigation was biased, and that it was the kids' were blamed because "only two of the bikes had what the police called “minimal reflectors,” because they were riding abreast, because their clothing was dark, albeit with reflectors, because they weren’t wearing helmets." The fact that the road is straight, flat and clear and has ever been thus, and that one should be able to see even minimal reflectors from a serious distance, doesn't seem to matter. One would think that the driver would be happy to have got out of this without charges, but no. Blatchford writes:
As astonishing evidence of the raw appeal of the robes of victimhood, the female motorist who struck and killed a teenage cyclist 18 months ago is now suing the estate of the dead boy for more than $1 million.
According to a statement of claim filed in Ontario Superior Court last December by the woman’s lawyer, Sharlene Simon “has sustained and will sustain great pain and suffering,” including “a severe shock to her system” as a result of the crash.
“…her enjoyment of life has been and will be lessened,” the document says.
This may just be a smart legal tactic, in response to a $900,000 lawsuit filed by the victim's parents, who claim that Simon was "speeding, under the influence or texting at the time of the accident, and that Jules Simon allowed her to drive the SUV when “he knew or ought to have known” she was in no condition to do so."
Or it might just be totally disgusting.
More from PostMedia