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Wrongful death writ large while British Columbia, nation grieve

With a shudder, a hockey Mom in Langley remembered regularly driving her son to catch buses bound for out-of-town games. As our entire country mourned after the catastrophic bus crash in Saskatchewan, this British Columbia mother launched a tribute that instantly went viral. Wearing jerseys in memory of the Humboldt Broncos, a hockey team of 16- to 21-year-old players, was one way for thousands of Canadian parents to bow their heads and say, "but for the grace of God, there goes my son." In this unutterable tragedy, legal fault continues to loom large, presenting grounds for wrongful death lawsuits.

The flatland terrain of a prairie province is not much like that of our province, which is home to the Canadian Rockies. Yet there are regional highways which are similarly flat where one roadway intersects another. In this case, a flashing stop sign at a rural intersection was either unseen, or worse, ignored by the driver of a semi. According to a 19-year-old survivor, the impact split the team's bus in two. Detailed and long-term investigations have begun into the 4-year-old trucking company, including driver training, certification and vehicle safety status.

Upon learning about 16 deaths -- 10 of which were those of 16 to 21 years of age -- and 13 injured, Canada went into mourning. Apart from the Jersey Day begun in British Columbia, children across the nation planted their hockey sticks outdoors overnight in tribute. Internet funding soared to $11 million with memorials held in cities big and small.

How could such a thing happen? As the families of these devoted hockey youngsters ask this, and more pointed, questions they face unexpected end-of-life expenses -- or long-term rehabilitative costs. Reminiscent of the Coquihalla crash in British Columbia, reported in our Feb. 27, 2018 blog, this appalling event is even more poignant since a small town's flower of youth was felled in one blow. Personal injury lawyers, many of whom are also hockey parents, grieve at this national tragedy, and may help address the legal complexities associated with personal injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits.

Source: castanet.net, "Hockey moms help", Canadian Press, April 12, 2018

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