- BC Games
Connect with Us
EDITORIAL: Driver should now leave wheel to others
The father of the young woman seriously injured in an accident last year made a thoughtful point outside court this week.
Christian Ardiles noted the past year — through which his adult daughter Chloe spent time in a coma after being hit by a car while trying to cross Fortune Drive — has been a nightmare for his daughter and for the man driving the car.
That man is 86-year-old Merle Michels, who pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention and was handed a $1,500 fine and a six-month driving prohibition.
“We’ve had a very rough go of it and so has he,” Ardiles said after the sentencing and after he spoke with Michels. “He’s a wreck.”
Chloe will need care for the rest of her life, such is the severity of injuries suffered when she was struck.
Michels, too, has been traumatized and, as he told court, he will live with the tragedy for the rest of his days.
However, the fact he has continued to drive daily since hitting Chloe on Sept. 9, 2012, surprised many, not the least of whom was Chloe’s dad.
While accepting the sentence as part of the justice system, Christian Ardiles nonetheless said the senior citizen should have had his licence revoked for good.
It is hard not to agree.
While Judge Chris Cleavely noted the sentence may not seem to be as serious as it should be, considering the carnage involved, he noted he sentenced Michels “for his momentary indiscretion, not the catastrophic injuries his driving caused.”
So be it.
However, the onus in this instance should then fall on Michels or his family to perhaps do the right thing and retire the driving privileges for good, in the interest of public safety and to acknowledge the severity of the damage caused by not properly paying attention while driving.
The accident was caused by driver error and, in this case, the driver is at an age where reaction time and other skills needed to navigate traffic do indeed erode.