Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pain and Suffering

Sharlene Simon "has sustained and will sustain great pain and suffering" as well as "a severe shock to her system" resulting from 'the crash'."
"Her enjoyment of life has been and will be lessened."
Ontario Superior Court statement of claim

"My dead son and the boys are being sued by the woman that killed him because she is distraught."
"Normally, I would not react like this, but I think it's very cruel."
Derek Majewski, father of Brandon Majewski
Brandon Majewski died after being hit by a car while riding his bike on Oct. 28, 2012.
Brandon Majewski died after being hit by a car while riding his bike on Oct. 28, 2012.

Brandon Majewski 17,  and his friends, 16-year-old Richard McLean and Jack Roberts decided late on a fall Saturday night in 2012 to bicycle over to a coffee shop. That was in County of Simcoe, close to Barrie, Ontario. Returning to their homes about 1:30 a.m. on October 28, they were riding abreast along the two-lane paved rural road.

They were hit from behind by a Kia Sorrento driven by Sharlene Simon. Brandon was tossed by the impact over the car roof; when paramedics arrived he was barely living. Their efforts at resuscitation could not save him, and he was pronounced dead hours later at the Royal Victoria Health Centre in Barrie. His friend Richard was struck as well and later transferred to St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

A shot of the scene on Innisfil Beach Road where Brandon Majewski, 17, died after being struck by a vehicle Oct. 28, 2012. (Zach MacPherson/QMI Agency File Photo)

Richard spent weeks recovering from his injuries. Jake had been knocked off his bicycle, but his injuries were not serious. When a collision-reconstruction team from the South Simcoe Police Service concluded their investigation and presented a 26-page report it found "lack of visibility" as "the largest contributing factor".

"The driver of the Kia did not see the cyclists on the roadway and was unable to make an evasive reaction", they concluded. A local Crown prosecutor, consulted by police, advised there was "absolutely no reasonable prospect of conviction and that no charges should be laid". Six months after the accident a despondent older brother Devon Majewski, died in his sleep from alcohol combined with pharmaceuticals.

Brandon's grieving parents feel that the three boys were blamed for the accident; that it was considered to be their fault since two of the bikes only carried "minimal reflectors", and because there were riding abreast with dark clothing (with reflectors), and since they weren't wearing helmets. "They're kids; they're allowed to make a mistake", commented Derek Majewski.

Venetta Mlynczyk, Derek's wife, Brandon's mother, complained to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director that one of the South Simcoe investigators was a friend of Sharlene Simon's husband, a police officer with the York Regional Police force. She had thought that the Ontario Provincial Police would be brought in to investigate the accident rather than proceed with an investigation that might be biased.

Brandon's mother had additional concerns, that Sharlene Simon's husband Jules had been following his wife home that night, perhaps concerned that she might have been drinking. Sharlene Simon had been driving at 90 km/h, above the 80 km/h limit, but was not required to take a breathalyzer test as "no grounds to request" one existed. A roadside screening device had registered "zero alcohol content in her blood system."

Brandon's parents launched a lawsuit last March against the Simons and Simcoe County for a total of $900,000. The suit charges that Sharlene Simon was speeding, under the influence of alcohol or distracted by texting at the time of the accident. That her husband Jules Simon had allowed her to drive the SUV despite that "he knew or ought to have known" she was in no condition that night to drive.

And then they discovered that Sharlene Simon, her husband, her mother and her three children have launched a lawsuit for over $1-million against Brandon's 'estate', and the two boys who were with him the night their little outing resulted in death for one of the trio, and a lifelong memory of dread and regret for the others.

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