A crash that involved a collision between a driver and multiple bicyclists from 2012 is still making the news due to its strange circumstances.
On October 28, 2012, three boys were riding their bikes on a rural road in Toronto at about 1:30 in the morning. 17-year-old Brandon Majewski was with his two 16-year-old friends Richard McLean and Jake Roberts when they were struck from behind by a car. Majewski died from his injuries that resulted from the collision, and McLean was severely injured with many broken bones.
The car was driven by a 42-year-old mother of 3, Sharlene Simon. She was driving five miles over the speed limit of 50 mph when she struck the boys, and she also left the scene of the crime. Her husband was following her in his own car when she struck the boys, and he escorted her home before the police arrived to the scene.
Months after the accident, both the families of Majewski and of McLean filed suit against Simon to recoup medical expenses and the cost of their pain and suffering. In reaction to this, Simon has countersued Majewski’s family and the other two boys involved in order to compensate for her own trauma. She has noted psychological suffering following the accident and blames the boys for being incompetent bicyclists who did not properly use their brakes.
I think it’s safe to say that the boys should not have been out at 1:30 in the morning riding bicycles that were not properly outfitted with lights to be seen in the dark, but that does not make it possible for the driver to sue a grieving family and the two other boys involved- especially because Simon is suing for about the combined cost of the two lawsuits against her.
While I’m sure Sharlene Simon is feeling a tremendous amount of guilt and her own pain following the accident, I don’t think that those feelings are any different from anyone else that has ever been involved in an accident. I think that you could ask anyone who has caused an accident that has hurt or killed someone and they would tell you that they suffer from some type of psychological suffering as well. Does that mean they can sue the family of the person they killed? No, it does not.
To me, this driver is just trying to cause problems with the lawsuits in order to distract from the true fault in the situation. Of course she didn’t mean to hit or kill anyone, but she did. As a result, the families deserve compensation for everything they have been through and should not have to deal with a countersuit such as this during such a difficult process.
Bicyclists have a right to road, and motorists need to be on the lookout for them just as much as they would be for other cars. We need to train ourselves to have our full attention on the road to treat bicyclists with the same rights as anyone else on the road.
These families and boys do not deserve to be dragged through a frivolous lawsuit such as Simon’s, but I believe that the situation will sort itself out in favor these families that have already been through enough in the past two years.