The defendant, Bernard Dyksterhuis, tried to pass her on her left hand side, and when she turned left, his front bumper hit her vehicle. In court, Dyksterhuis testified that he’d seen her brake lights, but mistakenly assumed that there was no left turn possible there and that she intended to turn right or stop. There is single-lane traffic each way at that point, separated by a solid double yellow line prohibiting passing, with both a right and left turn lane.
While there was no doubt that Dyksterhuis should not have crossed the centre line, he argued that part of the blame should fall on Orcutt, who he says should have shoulder-checked before turning. However, Supreme Court Justice Kelleher dismissed that, determining that Dyksterhuis’ decision to pass Orcutt when her intentions were unclear to him made him 100 per cent at fault.
Orcutt testified that she has had severe pain since the incident, and had difficulty sitting for long periods of time while in class at Northern Lights College as well as coaching figure skating. Justice Kelleher awarded $85,000 for her injuries, $13,000 for special damages, including transportation expenses, and $48,000 for future care for therapy measures. The remaining $225,000 is for wage loss, as Orcutt wanted to become an elementary school teacher, but can now likely only work in an office environment, and would earn less as she tries to earn a college certificate.