CASE LAW - Stevens v Sleeman

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThe case of Stevens v Sleeman arises from a fatal collision at the intersection of Lougheed Highway and Nelson Street in Mission. At 5:10 am on October 10, 2016 the traffic lights at the intersection lost power and ceased to function. By 3:08 pm power had not been restored and a collision occurred that claimed the life of Barbara McNally.

Between these two times a number of agencies were involved in the incident, including the RCMP Operational Communications Center staff and Emil Anderson Maintenace Co. Ltd., the road maintenance contractor.

The collision itself took place when Judson Sleeman failed to realize that the traffic lights were not working as he approached them travelling westbound on Lougheed Highway at a speed that was well above the posted speed limit. He attempted to brake but was not successful in stopping.

Barbara McNally was travelling southbound on Nelson Street and had stopped to turn left. She misjudged and turned left across Mr. Sleeman's path precipitating the crash.

Justice Francis found that the RCMP OCC was negligent (40%) in not taking steps to deal with the reports of the inoperative traffic lights that it received. Emil Anderson Maintenance (25%) was found negligent for not providing any sort of traffic control after becoming aware of the inoperative traffic lights. As well, both Ms. McNally (10%) and Mr. Sleeman (25%) were liable for the collision.