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Canada

Woman who assaulted driver during Delta road rage incident must pay $34,000

A woman who was found by a judge to have assaulted another driver during a road rage incident near the George Massey Tunnel has been ordered to pay nearly $35,000 in damages.

The incident happened on June 2, 2017 while Jacqueline McGregor and Michael Henderson were driving separate vehicles northbound on Highway 99 on the approach to the tunnel.

Henderson, a 57-year-old business consultant, was driving a smart car from Delta to Vancouver and testified that he stopped his vehicle due to traffic congestion as he was trying to merge into the left hand lane.

He said that McGregor’s vehicle was travelling immediately behind his vehicle and was so close to him that he thought her vehicle would hit his.

Henderson said he heard her honk her horn at him before her vehicle came to a stop and it appeared that she was using her mobile phone to talk or text.

He testified that he was concerned that her vehicle had made contact with his vehicle and got out to check for damage and decided to walk over to her vehicle, which he claimed he did in a calm, non-aggressive, and non-threatening manner.

As he approached McGregor’s vehicle, he remarked that it wasn’t a good idea to be on the phone while driving and at a distance of a few feet from her driver’s window, suddenly and without warning, she threw what felt to him to be a punch to his face.

Henderson said his prescription glasses flew off and he was stunned by the punch. After regaining his composure and believing that the glasses had landed in her vehicle, he asked her to give the glasses back but she rolled up her window and drove off, he said. He never got the glasses back.

Henderson said he decided to call the police and followed her to a parking lot and called the RCMP.

As he sat in his vehicle, he notice blood dripping from his face and took photos of himself showing several lacerations and blood.

McGregor provided a different version of events, claiming that Henderson’s vehicle cut across several lanes of traffic and she honked her horn when he crossed in front of her, denying that the traffic was stopped.

She testified that McGregor got out and “raced out of his car” towards her, screaming at her about being on the phone, which she denied.

McGregor claimed to feel threatened and frightened and testified that as Henderson came closer, she pushed his face away with her hand.

She drove away and Henderson began “chasing her” and she pulled into a parking lot and called 911, she said.

In his ruling on the case, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Walker said he accepted Henderson’s version of events and found McGregor’s testimony not credible.

“I find Ms. McGregor hit Mr. Henderson hard, with her hand, while grabbing onto his face, and as a result, pierced his skin in various places causing lacerations,” said the judge, adding that he rejected McGregor’s explanation that she acted in self-defence because “some man was trying to stick his head in my car.”

The judge awarded Henderson $20,000 for pain and suffering, $12,000 for wage loss, $2,000 for aggravated damages and $980 for special damage, for a total of $34,980.

kfraser@postmedia.com

twitter.com/keithrfraser

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