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

Truck crashed and dumped near Predator Ridge

Police are looking for two men in connection with a stolen vehicle

Salt and Brick chef to compete in Canada’s Great Kitchen Party

Chef James Holmes will compete in the fall competition

UPDATE: Police swarm residence near UBC Okanagan, arrest 3 men

Five RCMP cars were seen outside 755 Academy Way Wednesday evening.

UBC Okanagan makes addition to womens volleyball, basketball

Lucy Faba and Amaya Perry will join the Heat next season

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Man seriously injured after driving wrong way down B.C. highway

Police say the driver hit a transport truck, then another car after merging from the off-ramp onto highway

Candidates ready for Summerland Blossom Pageant

Royalty pageant will be held at Centre Stage Theatre on May 3 and 4

Shuswap society finds pets often suffer in domestic abuse cases

SPCA, SAFE Society working together to provide shelter for pets of women fleeing abuse

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Give Canada geese at Okanagan beaches a break

LETTER: Tour busses, full of photographers, local goose guides and an annual goose festival

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Most Read