Guilty verdict in driving case

A Vernon man has been found guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm in regards to a 2013 incident involving a volunteer firefighter

A Vernon man has been found guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm in regards to a 2013 incident involving a volunteer firefighter.

Judge Mark Takahashi found Ian Douglas Joseph Burns, born in 1987, guilty of the charge in Vernon Provincial Court Tuesday morning.

Burns had been charged with three counts in connection with an incident in June 2013, where a member of the BX Swan Lake Volunteer Fire Department, on foot, was hit by a truck on a forest service road up above Hartnell and Tillicum roads while investigating a report of flames in the area.

“This was a low-speed, completely avoidable collision,” said Takahashi during his decision.

The court heard that the firefighter had been walking in the centre of the narrow gravel road, because the fire truck could not advance on the road, when he was approached by a Ford F350 pickup, driven by Burns who had a passenger with him.

The firefighter had wanted to talk to the people in the truck about the reported fire and was hoping the vehicle, which was going five-to-10 km/hour, would stop.

The truck, however, did not stop. The firefighter jumped out of the way but was clipped by the vehicle’s front bumper.

“Mr. Burns could have stopped the vehicle…he did not do that,” said Takahashi. “He had an opportunity to stop, to take evasive action, but did not.”

The firefighter suffered injuries to his arm, shoulder and hip, and is still undergoing physiotherapy treatments as a result of the collision.

Burns admitted to having consumed “four or five beers,” and that he should not have been driving.

Counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm and causing an accident resulting in bodily harm were stayed by Crown counsel.

A date for Burns’ sentencing has yet to be fixed.