Dania Ann Macie was hit by a car when she stopped to help another crash victim on the McGill Street on-ramp leading to the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge on Oct. 12, 2012. (Google Street View)

B.C. woman awarded $2M after stopping to help at car crash, getting hit herself

Good Samaritan, then 24 years old, had pulled over to give first aid in 2012 incident

A woman was awarded more than $2 million in damages after she stopped to help at a collision in 2012 and was struck by a vehicle herself.

Dania Ann Macie, then 24 years old, was driving to work at a community centre in North Vancouver one morning in October that year, heading for the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge, when she witnessed a man crash his car.

She knew first aid, so she pulled over and walked back to the crash site. She was standing, speaking to someone, when a vehicle hit her from behind.

“The impact threw her into the air. She travelled in the air about a car length before landing, face down,” said B.C. Supreme Court Justice George Macintosh in a ruling released Tuesday that illustrates how someone’s act of kindness can instead shatter how they plan to live their life.

“She does not remember the impact, or hitting the pavement. Her first memory was of lying on the pavement, face down.”

Macie, now 31, remembers very little about what happened, and has struggled significantly since.

ALSO READ: Driver who stopped to help B.C. car crash victim found, after family’s plea

She’d been studying to be a psychiatric nurse at Stenberg College in Surrey, and started experiencing headaches, irritability, and memory loss – having to “read and re-read everything.” She failed her exams and was eventually dismissed.

She also lost weight, couldn’t sleep, and became depressed.

Her ultimate difficulty became anxiety. The young woman, who’d grown up in Courtenay, said she suffered from panic attacks five times a week in which she just tries to “hold on.”

In 2018, she admitted herself to hospital because she thought she might self-harm.

At trial, the driver who hit her, Honorato Cruz DeGuzman, argued the crash had caused relatively minor injuries and damage, and that her present-day difficulties stemmed from “rebellious periods” in her teenage years, including depression, anxiety and other “troubles.”

The judge disagreed, saying she’d managed to get through that period, and pointing to the witnesses who described her as “outgoing” and an “achiever.”

He awarded her $2.07 million in general, special and other damages, noting the attorneys must calculate a lower total in loss of future earning capacity to reflect his finding that Macie would not have lost as much as she’d argued.

KEEP READING: Convicted B.C. gun dealer sues from prison over car crash injuries

Regardless, Macintosh wrote that the young woman had demonstrated, as both an adult and child, that she had an active intelligence and could lead a productive life.

He added: “But for the accident, the evidence shows that the plaintiff would probably be prospering today.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Island College hosting nursing info session

Info sessions will take place Monday, Jan. 27 at Port Alberni and Campbell River campuses

Photographer captures Port Alberni personalities in black and white portraits

Meet John Douglas, Courtney Naesgaard in double exhibit Jan. 18 at Rollin Art Centre

Alberni Valley Community Foundation opens grant application process for 2020

Nearly $30K available for Port Alberni-based charities

Stray cat with ‘serious burns’ recovering at Alberni SPCA

The BC SPCA’s Alberni-Clayoquot branch is asking members of the public for help with medical costs

B.C. government puts kibosh on drag racing at Alberni Valley Regional Airport

AVDRA was hopeful for a three-year temporary contract to race at the airport

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read