Jane Huang’s car was flung into the ditch after being struck by a train on CP Rail tracks. (Langley Advance files)

Woman gets $2 million after 2014 train crash

A lawsuit over a woman injured in a train collision has ended in a multi-million dollar judgment.

A woman who suffered life-altering injuries when she was struck by a train in Langley in 2014 has won a judgment of more than $2 million against Canadian Pacific Rail.

Justice Margo Fleming ruled that the CPR was 60 per cent liable for the crash that flung Jane Huang’s vehicle into a ditch on a rainy afternoon, because of a failure to clear brush that obscured sight lines near the tracks.

On May 8, more than four years ago, Huang’s car crossed the railway tracks at Smith Crescent near Glover Road as she left her new job at the nearby Britco offices.

Though she testified she doesn’t remember the actual collision, Huang told the court she had typically rolled through the stop sign at the tracks, in the mistaken belief that the line was not in use. Her office at Britco didn’t have windows facing the tracks and she hadn’t seen a train there in the few weeks on her new job.

Huang’s car was struck on the passenger side by a freight train, and flung into a nearby ditch.

According to a B.C. Supreme Court judgment released in July, Huang suffered a spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injuries.

She has regained the ability to walk, assisted with a walker, but the woman who acquired an MBA and engineering degree and was working hard to find a new job in Canada now suffers from depression, an inability to work, and a shortened life expectancy.

Huang sued the railway companies seeking up to $4.8 million in compensation.

Justice Margo Fleming ruled that Huang should receive more than $1.37 million for lost earnings, plus more than $350,000 in medical support and modifications to her home and $330,000 in damages for pain and suffering.

Huang had argued that 90 percent of the fault for the crash lay with CPR, which was tasked with maintaining sightlines along its railways. Testimony at the trial suggested the edges of the tracks along Glover Road and a berm around the Britco property were overgrown with blackberry bushes at the time of the crash.

The case also argued that the “storage space” between the tracks and the second stop sign at Smith and Glover Road was too short. Even a normal-sized car couldn’t necessarily fit into the space completely.

The defendants argued that Huang was 80 per cent liable for the crash.

The judge found that while Huang was not entirely blameless, CP Rail was also largely to blame.

“Ms. Huang’s negligence resulted from an unreasonable but honestly held belief the railway tracks had been abandoned, not recklessness or deliberate risk taking,” Justice Fleming wrote. “In contrast the CPR was indifferent in its approach to maintaining adequate sightlines despite being fully aware of the grave risk of collisions.”

This is not the first time train crossings at Glover Road have come under fire.

In 2015, a train hit an ambulance at the Crush Crescent-Glover Road crossing, and the 87-year-old patient later died of her injuries.

A number of changes were made to safety equipment at the crossing, one of the busiest in the Milner area. There are a number of crossings in the Milner area, where farm roads connect across the tracks to Glover.

In 2017, Langley Township budgeted $6.3 million over several years to upgrade rail crossings to new, stricter federal safety rules. There were 30 affected crossings in the Township.

Just Posted

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

UPDATE: Search for missing Cranbrook woman enters third day

The search for a Cranbrook woman missing in the Jumbo Pass area is entering its third day.

Search for missing Cranbrook woman ongoing

Louise Baxter missing in Jumbo Pass area since Sunday

Services report: Tickets issued for tresspassing

Conservation Officer Service The Conservation Officer Service, in collaboration with local Natural… Continue reading

Child, 4, attacked by cougar near Fernie

The BC Conservation Officer Service said it happened while the family was fishing

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Chinese medicine practitioner in B.C. facing historical sex assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Most Read