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Relatives sue unsafe driver after 3-death collision

On June 26, 2009, a 40-year-old man killed three other individuals while operating his vehicle. The deceased included an 81-year-old bicycle rider, a newlywed couple whose vehicle was rear-ended and the couple’s dog. When the motorist was convicted on triple counts of dangerous driving causing death, he received a suspended sentence.

At the time of reporting, the man remained subject to a decade-long driving probation and three years of probation. In the aftermath of the deaths, the victims’ families sued the negligent driver, and a later investigation by the Ontario ombudsman revealed that the man should not have been operating a motor vehicle in the first place.

During his trial, the motorist who killed the trio was discovered to suffer from hypoglycemia that had necessitated emergency medical attention in the past. On the day of the accident, his own measurements revealed that his blood sugar was low, and although he consumed a small snack, he failed to test his blood again before driving. The relatives reportedly asked the province to make an inquest into how such an individual was allowed to operate a vehicle with a known diabetic condition, and news sources pointed out that he was even allowed to retain his license for more than a year after the trial.

Fatal vehicle accidents that involve driver negligence do not always result in court awards for victims’ families. Drivers may argue that they took what they thought were reasonable precautions to prevent accidents or claim that extenuating circumstances absolve them of culpability. Families seeking closure or financial restitution in the aftermath of their loved ones’ deaths may find that a civil claim could compensate them for loss of financial support and companionship.

Source: TheSpec.com, “Hamilton man with low blood sugar should never have been behind the wheel“, Susan Clairmont, April 30, 2014