ROSSLAND — A woman from Fruitvale who was struck and injured during the 2017 Sonny Samuelson Bobsled Race has filed a notice of claim against those she alleges are responsible for her injuries.
Nicole Valliere was struck by a bobsled at last year’s race and on Jan. 17 of this year filed a notice of claim against the Rossland Winter Carnival Society, the City of Rossland, Selkirk Security Services Ltd., the driver of the bobsled (named John Doe #1 in the notice of claim) and an unknown security guard employed by Selkirk Security (named John Doe #2).
Valliere alleges that the accident was caused by the negligence of the Rossland Winter Carnival Society, the City of Rossland, Selkirk Security Services and the security guard.
She also alleges that it was caused by the bobsled driver because he was “a. driving without due care and attention; b. driving too fast; c. failing to steer the bobsled so as to avoid colliding with the plaintiff; d. failing to keep a proper lookout; e. failing to keep the bobsled under control; f. failing to apply the brakes of the bobsled when necessary; g. failing to stop or act reasonable so as to avoid a collision; h. failing to maintain the bobsled in a proper manner” and other acts or omissions to be determined.
As for damages, the notice of claim says that Valliere suffered an injury to her left knee, concussions, headaches, dizziness, injury to her back, injury to her hip and “mental injuries, the effects of which include anxiety, fear, and sleeplessness.”
It also says that she’s “incurred expenses for medical, surgical, hospital and incidental matters” and that she “has suffered and will in the future suffer loss of capacity to earn income.”
Valliere was one of four people injured in the accident, the other three having been aboard the bobsled that crashed.
The accident took place on Jan. 28, 2017 and on Feb. 1, 2017, the Rossland Winter Carnival Society’s president, Tara Kowalchuk, issued a statement saying that “a spectator standing in a prohibited area at the Rossland Winter Carnival Bobsled Race was struck by a bobsled and sustained minor injuries.”
“Upon review of incident reports and statements from the bobsledders involved in the crash, the City of Rossland, Selkirk Security, and first responders on scene, it has been determined that the crash was an accident caused by a number of factors involving racer decision making, sled mechanics, and the spectator being in a prohibited area,” the release continued.
The release also said that “all aspects of the race were handled properly according to protocol.”
Asked for a statement regarding Valliere’s notice of claim on Friday, Kowalchuk referred to the statement released at the time, but also added, “As ever, we remain committed to providing the safest possible event for all Rossland Winter Carnival participants and spectators. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Carnival weekend.”
This year the Rossland Winter Carnival Society also introduced new rules to improve safety.
A release sent out by the society prior to the start of Winter Carnival explained that this year registration and check-in for bobsleds would be held a week earlier than usual and braking systems would need to be able to lift the sled off the ground. Right-left independent braking systems are no longer allowed and there were also no-go zones for spectators along the course.
The allegations in the statement have not been proven in court.