A civil suit has ended in a financial award after a man deliberately drove into a vehicle repeatedly believing the other driver was the devil and he needed to kill him.
The victim, a former karaoke DJ from Oliver was awarded $177,300 in a civil suit.
The lengthy lawsuit concluded in Vancouver court on July 2 with Graham Lamont being awarded $100,000 in damages, $63,000 for future care and $14,000 for special damages five years after the crash.
On Aug. 19, 2016, Lamont had finished working for the night at an Osoyoos pub and was driving home to Oliver around 4 a.m.
About halfway between the two towns, as he rounded a corner on Highway 97 and Road 18, the defendant, Emil Prat deliberately drove his vehicle across the centre-line and collided with Lamont’s vehicle, pushing it off the road and into a tree.
Prat then reversed and rammed Lamont’s vehicle at least one more time, before proceeding to drive around the adjacent orchard, where he eventually got stuck, said the judgement.
Prat then got out of his vehicle and yelled statements about the devil and wanting to kill the plaintiff.
Although it was not in the evidence, it was suggested that Prat was experiencing a psychotic episode, said the judgement. He was eventually arrested by police and taken away from the scene.
Lamont alleges that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and somatic symptom disorder (SSD), which can cause a person to have a significant physical symptoms such as pain, weakness or shortness of breath, that results in major distress and/or problems functioning because of the accident.
He also claims that the accident caused numerous physical injuries and caused him to suffer from chronic pain throughout his body. He claims he can no longer work because of the accident.
Lamont said in his statements that he tried to open the front driver’s door, but it was stuck, so he had to lean back and kick it open. He had started to squeeze himself out of the vehicle, with his right leg in the wheel well, when he heard the sound of Prat’s vehicle engine and saw the vehicle coming straight towards him. He had to lean back and pull his legs back into the van.
He later heard screaming and yelling, and what sounded like multiple people. However, Lamont realized it was just Prat yelling “You’re the devil!” and “I killed you, but you’re still alive!”
Lamont managed to wave down a passing vehicle to call police because his phone was stuck in the van. Eventually, the police arrived and the defendant was put into handcuffs arrested.
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