(File photo)

Man found liable after runaway snowmobile hits friend on B.C. mountain

Snowmobile travelled 1.5 kilometres over a cliff and through a ravine before hitting friend

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled that the owner of a runaway snowmobile is liable for the injuries caused when that snowmobile hit a fellow rider.

In documents filed late last month, Justice Dev Dley found that the negligence of Davon Webb not wearing a snowmobile tether cord meant he was on the hook for damages caused by his snowmobile careening into Angelo Steven Passerin.

Passerin was hit during a 10-person snowmobile excursion up Mount Renshaw, just north of McBride, B.C., on March 21, 2013.

Halfway through the day, Webb’s sister waved to Passerin when her snowmobile got stuck in deep some on a nearby hill.

Passerin had gone only 10 feet towards her when he was hit by Webb’s runaway snowmobile.

Webb had been riding uphill at half throttle when he hit an unexpected snowdrift.

He braked, causing his snowmobile to pitch forward and throw him off into the snow.

The riderless snowmobile careened over a 100 foot cliff, climbed out of a 20 foot ravine and “raced full throttle for 1.5 kilometres” to collide with Passerin.

Another member of the group yelled to try and warn Passerin but his yells were not heard.

The group rushed to tend to Passerin’s injuries for three to four hours until a helicopter arrived to transport him to hospital.

The judge heard various accounts from Webb as to whether or not he attached the tether cord that was meant to turn off the snowmobile if the rider fell off.

The judge found Webb an unreliable witness and that his testimony “was fraught with contradictions on material points.”

Throughout various points throughout his testimony, Webb gave varying locations for where he had attached the tether cord. He started with his jacket, then his pants and then finally said that he had forgotten to reattach it before lunch. He admitted that he did not check whether or not the cord was attached after lunch.

The judge said that although Webb not wearing the cord did not in and of itself make him liable for Passerin’s injuries, Webb’s failure to do safety checks after lunch showed “that he did not have much regard for safety measures.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Corbin evacuation order downgraded to alert

RDEK warns 10 property owners southeast of Sparwood to be prepared to evacuate if necessary.

Child, 4, attacked by cougar at Lower Morrissey Creek

The BC Conservation Officer Service said it happened when the family was fishing west of Fernie

Fernie SAR rescues injured biker

A mountain biker has been rescued after injuring himself in Fernie’s Ridgemont trails area.

Lightning sparks fires, closes Fernie music festival

Heavy rain, hail and lightning temporarily shuts down Wapiti Music Festival on Saturday.

Fernie mayor joins calls for backcountry closure

Mary Giuliano has backed calls to close the backcountry as a wildfire rages east of Fernie.

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Darkwoods Conservation is closed to all public road access due to wildfires

Boat access to Tye along the shore of Kootenay Lake is still permitted.

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Most Read