The driver of a tour bus that jumped the curb at Canada Place in August 2017, striking and killing a 49-year-old doctor, has been charged with driving without due care and attention and fined $1,800.
Patrick Gerard Campbell was driving a bus for a company shuttling passengers from the 900 block of Canada Place to an attraction on the North Shore.
Dr. Michael Plevyak, 49, from Massachusetts, died when the bus struck him.
His 15-year-old daughter and an older male relative were both injured in the accident as well.
Vancouver police also confirmed a 70-year-old woman, not related to the Plevyak family, was also injured in the crash.
In the judgement, it states Campbell was an experienced bus driver and had extensive training. He had also previously spent 18 years as a truck driver.
At 10:05 a.m. the morning of Aug. 13, 2017, Campbell stopped his bus in the 900 block of Canada Place and at 10:15 a.m., he started to board passengers. After 10 to 15 people had boarded the bus, Campbell noticed it tilting to the right, causing the front door to make contact with the sidewalk.
Campbell said he was going to put air into the bus so he moved it slightly forward and away from the curb.
That’s when the Plevyak family and another family with the last name Aulakh were at the curb in front of the bus and were loading their rental vehicle.
The bus then rolled 13.9 metres and collided with the rental vehicle.
A woman who was a passenger on the bus told CKNW the bus had just left Canada Place when the incident took place and was going really slow.
The passenger recalls the bus driver trying to press the brakes but says nothing happened. She said that despite his attempts, the bus did not stop.
She said she remembers the driver screaming and trying to steer away from the curb.
As a result of the collision, Manjit Aulakh became trapped under the bus, while Plevyak became trapped in the front wheel well of the bus, and Raina Plevyak was pinned between the bus and a concrete pillar.
Raina suffered fractures to her pelvis, a permanent injury to her thigh and scarring to her right leg. Aulakh suffered multiple fractures to both hands, a partial loss of a finger, crush injuries to his bladder and urethra, a punctured lung and bruising.
Campbell cooperated with police and said there was a possibility he was looking at the closing passenger door during the five seconds the bus was in motion.
In the judgement, it is noted that the accident had a “significant impact” on Campbell. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and now deals with anxiety, frustration, flashbacks and a “mental fog.”
He has been unable to work since the accident and is currently receiving disability benefits.
He does not have a criminal record.
During the sentencing hearing, Campbell addressed the court and began to “sob heavily.”
Judge R. Harris noted his “actions and words satisfy me that he is deeply remorseful. In the words of his counsel, ‘No punishment can be greater than the one he imposes on himself.’”
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