The municipality is arguing that a man who died after a transit driver struck and killed him with a bus at the Bridge Terminal last year was negligent in his own actions, and the man’s death was an “inevitable accident.”
As Zane Woodford reported in August, Janice Gibson, the widow of 67-year-old Edward Creelman, filed a notice of action in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, alleging a Halifax Transit driver who struck and killed Creelman was careless and negligent.
In a news release from Oct. 9, 2022, police said a 67-year-old man “succumbed to his injuries after contact was made with a Metro Transit bus in motion.”
None of Gibson’s claims have been tested in court.
Janus Siebrits, the lawyer who is representing Gibson, wrote in a statement of claim that Creelman was waiting for a bus at the Bridge Terminal “when he was struck by the bus.”
“Mr. Creelman sustained catastrophic injuries as a result of the collision and was pronounced dead at the scene,” Siebrits wrote, adding Creelman died because of the “carelessness and negligent actions” of the unnamed Halifax Transit driver.
Siebrits wrote that the driver “failed to operate the bus in a careful and prudent manner having regard to all the circumstances” and “failed to slacken speed or to stop or take any steps to avoid a collision when it was apparent or ought to have been apparent that a collision was imminent.”
Gibson is seeking damages for “loss of guidance, care and companionship;” “loss of financial support and valuable services;” and burial and funeral costs.
In its statement of defence filed on Oct. 25, 2023, HRM wrote that if Gibson suffered any injury, loss, or damage it wasn’t because of the negligence of HRM or its employees, but rather that injury, loss, or damage “was caused or contributed by Mr. Creelman’s negligence,” including Creelman’s:
• failure to exercise proper care for his own safety, having regard to the conditions and circumstances then existing
• failure to keep and maintain a proper lookout
• failure to observe the conditions of the road and traffic at the material time
• failure to maintain a safe distance from a moving vehicle
• was intoxicated and/or impaired, by alcohol or otherwise, and;
• such other negligence as may appear.
The statement of defence goes on to say “HRM pleads pure and simple and inevitable accident.”
HRM is asking that Gibson’s action be dismissed with costs.