CASE LAW - Howell v Strutt
This case is another example of how a series of choices led to a collision. Merritt Towing parked a tow truck on the left side of the divided highway, partially encroaching on the travelled lane, without placing warnings. The angle of the sun and the reflections off of the wet pavement seriously affected the forward vision of drivers at that location. The driver that hit the parked tow truck and been following a large commercial vehicle and chose to pass it on the left instead of on the right.
Commencing the pass from a position about one tractor-trailer length behind a large commercial vehicle travelling at 100 km/h was probably not a good choice either. The truck is a significant view obstruction, allowing the overtaking driver little time to see a hazard and return to the original lane of travel even under conditions of good visibility.
Mr. Howell collided with the parked tow truck operated by Mr. Strutt and was injured.
In the action for damages, Mr. Justice Macintosh found that Mr. Strutt could have parked off of the roadway and that the RCMP officer present at the scene pre-collision should have directed that the tow truck be parked in a safer location. The towing company and RCMP shared liability for the collision 85% and 15% respectively.