When three people died, two of them young children, as a result of a multi-vehicle car accident in April 2017, several families’ worst nightmares came true. Ella Hernandez, 9, and Tyler Mollie Wong Hernandez, 3, as well as a 30 year old woman were killed when a driver tried to pass on the highway located near Pitt River Road and forced two other vehicles into oncoming traffic. One year later, the driver of the vehicle was charged with driving without due care and attention under the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act. His punishment? A $368 fine and six points against his driver’s license.
Michelle Hernandez, Ella’s mother, filed a civil lawsuit in British Columbia Supreme Court against the province, the City of Coquitlam, and the South Coast B.C. Transportation Authority, and two drivers in an effort to fight for the changes she believes need to be made. According to Michelle and her husband Gary, a section of the highway is too narrow and was poorly designed. It would require re-engineering and the addition of safety barriers to be rendered less dangerous. The lawsuit also makes the allegation that two of the drivers who were involved in the accident failed to take the necessary care required while driving. According to Coqutilam’s Mayor Richard Stewart, limitations such as a retaining wall and inadequate space would make the adjustments difficult, if not impossible.
When navigating a devastating tragedy like the roadway accident in Coquitlam, having the support of an experienced car accident lawyer can go a long way. From providing legal guidance to the grieving family to fighting for the support needed to move forward, having someone who understands on your side makes a world of difference.