Injured Chilliwack woman awarded $219K from distracted driving crashes

Injured Chilliwack woman awarded $219K from distracted driving crashes

Both incidents werecaused by young drivers handling their electronic devices

A Chilliwack woman has been awarded more than $200,000 in damages for suffering two distracted driving crashes in less than two years.

Alexandra Nicole Viola Todoruk of Chilliwack used to enjoy “a physically active life” in her last years of high school where she enjoyed running, skiing and wakeboarding.

But now the 24-year-old Todoruk takes Tylenol daily and suffers headaches most days after she was injured in separate crashes that were both caused by drivers being distracted by their electronic devices.

Todoruk was riding as a passenger in the front seat in both incidents, according to court documents.

In the first crash, the defendant Mark Voronov was changing a song on his iPod on July 14, 2012. He ran a red light, and hit the side of a car in an intersection.

But it was the second once, that had more lasting effects.

Defendant Hayley Jones was speaking on her cell phone on Aug. 15, 2013 as she drove along the Lougheed Highway. Todoruk remembered telling Jones to get off the phone, and that was her last memory as the vehicle in front of them braked suddenly, and they hit it. Both airbags were deployed and the hood crumpled.

Todoruk’s left side hit the console, and she suffered an abrasion to her abdomen.

“She climbed over her friend to exit the vehicle,” according to court documents. “She sat in a state of shock at the accident scene. An ambulance transported her to the hospital on a spinal board.”

Todoruk said she immediately felt pain in her left leg, neck, rib and back. The pain spread to her right shoulder and arm, and then extended to the fingers of her right arm. After a few days she began to feel tension headaches behind her eyes. The headaches were often preceded by a tingling on the right side of her face and pain on the right side of her neck.

READ MORE: First offence will cost $578 for distracted driving

“All of these conditions persist today to various degrees,” B.C. Supreme Court Justice David Crerar said in his ruling Dec. 16. “She suffers headaches most days. These are usually mild but sometimes acute.”

There was no question of liability which had been admitted in both crash incidents. The only question was the amount of damages to be awarded by Justice Crerar.

Of the total $219,000 awarded to Todoruk, her “ loss of future earning” capacity amounted to $120,000 which is $3,000 per year for more than 40 years of employment. There was $80,000 for pain and suffering, and $10,000 for her care in the future.

“That figure is a reasonable reflection of the plaintiff’s limitation in employment prospects, and need for accommodation, due to her injuries, taking into account the limited contingency that her conditions may improve in future,” Justice Crerar said in ruling about the total award. “This figure is if anything conservative given analogous case law concerning female plaintiffs in their mid-20s who suffered chronic soft-tissue injuries to their backs which limited their abilities to sit or lift and who lacked a consistent job history or a clear future earnings trajectory.”

READ MORE: What constitutes distracted driving in B.C.?


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Council Chambers. (File photo)
Surrey city councillors complain not enough public input in committees

City has gone ‘exactly the opposite direction,’ Councillor Brenda Locke charges

Tsawwassen resident Angeline Splockton won $100,000 from a Luxury Crossword Scratch & Win ticket. (BCLC photo)
Nightly ritual turns into $100K win for Tsawwassen woman

Angeline Splockton uncovered 11 words on her Luxury Crossword Scratch & Win ticket

A Transit Police officer and another driver were injured on Nov. 4 in a traffic crash while the officer was responding to another officers call for help catching a man who escaped custody. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Police watchdog investigating Surrey crash that injured transit cop, another driver

Crash happened 11 p.m. Nov. 4, at 128th Street and 93rd Avenue in Cedar Hills

The Delta Hospice Society operates the Harold & Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care (pictured) and the Irene Thomas Hospice in Ladner. (The Canadian Press photo)
Fraser Health to evict Delta Hospice Society, open new hospice beds next door

Health authority will serve DHS 30 days’ notice when service agreement expires Feb. 25

An Amica White Rock resident receives the COVID-19 vaccine during a Jan. 15, 2021 clinic. (Tracy Holmes photo)
PHOTOS: South Surrey seniors grateful for ‘freedom’ of COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination clinics at Fraser Health long-term and assisted-living sites were to wrap up Jan. 15

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

Most Read