The scene of the fatal motor vehicle accident between a semi-truck and a Honda Accord at the intersection of the Alaska Highway and Robert Service Way on Saturday afternoon resulted in the death of two people in 2014. The incident has led to another lawsuit — this time, from the trucking company that owned the truck. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)

Trucking company in 2014 fatal Alaska Highway crash sues teen driver, deceased passenger, car owner for negligence

Bill Petrie Trucking Ltd. claims that the crash caused extensive damage to its truck and a loss of revenue

The 2014 crash between a Honda Accord and transport truck in Whitehorse that left two people dead and another seriously injured has led to another lawsuit — this time, from the trucking company that owned the truck.

Bill Petrie Trucking Ltd. is suing the driver of the Honda, the estate of Brendan Kinney, a 20-year-old passenger in the Honda who died instantly in the crash, and Linda Powers, Kinney’s mother and the owner of the car, claiming that their negligence led to the collision.

The lawsuit was filed to the Yukon Supreme Court July 20.

The driver is named in the lawsuit but cannot be named publicly due to provisions in the Youth Criminal Justice Act. She was 15 at the time of the collision and, in 2015, pleaded guilty to one charge of dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm. She was sentenced to two years’ probation and 240 hours of community service, and was banned from driving for three years.

The trucking company’s statement of claim says that an employee, William Petrie, was driving a truck on the Alaska Highway near the Hamilton Boulevard extension on Aug. 9, 2014, when the Honda, being driven “negligently” by the teen, “suddenly and without warning, and when it was unsafe to do so,” made a left turn in front of the truck, resulting in the crash.

At the time, the truck was transporting fuel on behalf of an Alberta company, and the crash caused “extensive damage” to the truck, the statement of claim says, resulting in “a loss of revenue for the period of time the truck was out of commission.”

“The collision, and subsequent damage to the plaintiff’s truck, was caused solely by the negligence of the defendants, and each of them,” the document alleges.

The lawsuit claims the driver “owed a duty of care to users of the highway … to operate the Honda vehicle with due care and attention,” but that she failed to do so. It alleges that her negligence included failing to keep a proper lookout, driving even though her “ability to do so was impaired by fatigue or by the consumption of alcohol or drugs,” making a left turn even though the truck had the right-of-way and “driving the Honda vehicle recklessly or with a conscious indifference to the consequences and in a manner likely to endanger the life and safety of others.”

The lawsuit also alleges that Powers was negligent because, as the owner of the Honda, she had the duty to ensure the vehicle “was operated by a competent driver,” but lent it to her son “when she knew, or ought to have known” that Kinney or “others operating the Honda vehicle were incompetent, would lack appropriate training, would be in a state of physical or other impairment, or would be otherwise reckless” in driving the Honda.

The statement of claim brings similar allegations of negligence against Kinney, saying he was acting as co-driver and that he should have known the driver would not be able to drive the Honda safely.

The allegations have not been tested in court.

Bill Petrie Trucking Ltd. is seeking “special damages for loss of revenue and business opportunities” and costs.

This is at least the fifth lawsuit connected to the crash. In 2015, the parents of the other Honda passenger killed in the crash, a 15-year-old girl from Whitehorse, filed a lawsuit against the driver of the car, truck driver Petrie and Powers.

The same year, the Honda passenger who was seriously injured in the crash, Derrick Gibbons, also filed a lawsuit against the driver, Powers, Petrie and Bill Petrie Trucking Ltd.

Petrie then filed his own action against the driver, Powers, and Kinney, in 2015, and Power filed a lawsuit shortly after against the driver, Petrie and Bill Petrie Trucking Ltd.

With files from Ashley Joannou

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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