Motorcyclist awarded $1.8M, following head-on collision on Hwy 3 at Anarchist Mountain

$1.8M for motorcycle crash

A female motorcyclist involved in a serious collision six years ago on a hairpin curve at Anarchist Mountain has been awarded $1.8 million.

In a Supreme Court decision published Tuesday, Carrie Lynne Michael, 54, was awarded $1,814,509 due to long-term injuries and psychological distress, preventing her from working.

Michael sought damages following a head-on collision in May of 2018 at about 1:30 p.m. Michael was driving along switch-back Hwy 3 east of Osoyoos when a car crossed the centre line, colliding with her motorcycle.

According to a witness account at the time of the accident, a Ford Sedan made a pass at a hairpin curve, just west of the Anarchist Mountain viewpoint. Michael was taken to hospital, suffering significant long-term injuries to her back, hip, knee, and left foot.

“She suffered significant physical injuries that required three surgeries and left her with chronic pain and limited mobility,” wrote Justice F. Matthew Kirchner.

“She has developed a severe mental illness because of the accident and ultimately had to give up a life she loved in Penticton to move to Victoria where she is more accessible to medical providers and family.”

According to the court document, Michael additionally experienced insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and an inability to work due to her injuries. Because of the nature of her condition, Kirchner said she “will never be able to return to being a vet technician.”

The document also indicates Michael moved to Victoria for medical care and lost her dogs as a result of not being able to care for them following the accident. Doctors have said Michael could possibly return to work in a year’s time, but likely in a job where standing is not required and on a part-time basis.

The defendant, Conrad Joseph Bergeron, admitted responsibility for the collision and acknowledged Michael’s resulting injuries and psychological distress. However, there was disagreement on Michael’s prognosis and appropriate compensation.

Taking into account Michael’s limited ability to earn due to injuries and her future care needs, Kirchner awarded her a total of $1,814,509, of which $775,000 is related to future loss of earning capacity.

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