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

West Kootenay highways a mess as heavy snowfall continues

‘Roads are very icy, people have to be patient and have to slow down’

Over $25,000 raised for Columbia Basin literacy

Success for 2018 Books for Kids campaign

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

Grand Forks bantam team takes Nelson tournament

The team dominated the competition with some outstanding displays of skill and technique.

Donate to the Grand Forks and District Public Library

The library is undertaking significant washroom renovations.

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

UPDATE: B.C. judge grants $10M bail for Huawei executive wanted by U.S.

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Famous giant tortoise DNA may hold fountain of youth: UCBO

After Lonesome George’s death he still provides clues to longer life

Oogie Boogie, Sandy Claws and coffin sleigh part of B.C. couple’s holiday display

Chilliwack couple decorates their house for the holidays using Nightmare Before Christmas theme

Most Read