Sunday, February 25, 2024

Sooke man awarded $326K following road rage incident


A Sooke man has been awarded over $300,000 after a road rage incident several years ago. 

In April 2016, a series of incidents that ended in aggression occurred near Sooke and only in December 2022, did the case go before BC’s Supreme Court. 

The result being that one man has been awarded over $326K for injuries he sustained in the vehicular altercation.

The initial incident

Marc Brown and Ernest Ponton were both at a gas station near to Sooke. The two men still disagree as to who instigated the incident that transpired but during their heated exchange of words, Brown pressed the rim of his hat against Ponton’s forehead and said, “you wanna f%&^ing kill me? I’m right here, kill me.”

The court determined that following this exchange, Brown went inside the gas station to pay and when he came out he had found one of his tires slashed and Ponton had driven away in his van.

Brown did not get a license plate number or a name from Ponton and was left to his own devices to fix his tire. He tried to file a police report but because he lacked the above information, he was unable to do so.

During the BC Supreme Court Trial, Ponton denied being responsible for slashing Brown’s tire.

The roadside altercation

On April 4th, 2016, Brown was driving his Smart Car and saw a van he thought might belong to Ponton while driving on Sooke Road. He proceeded to follow the van to see for himself if the van did belong to the man he thought to have slashed his tire.

Brown followed Ponton onto Otter Point Road in Sooke and both cars pulled over to the side of the road with Brown’s Smart Car positioned in front of Ponton’s van.

What happened next was contested in court between the two parties who have vastly differing recollections of what transpired; however, the end result of the altercation was that Brown’s Smart Car was pushed to the edge of the road because Ponton’s van had rammed into the vehicle numerous times. 

The Honourable Mr. Justice Stephens was the judge presiding over the case and had to determine whose recollection was accurate and to what degree. 

Justice Stephens determined that Brown got out of his car and walked toward Ponton’s van with a “confrontational tone” after both cars were pulled over. 

Ponton then drove his van forward toward the road but also toward Brown who wasn’t struck by the vehicle, but he pushed away from the car with the passenger side fender and fell to the ground. 

Ponton drove ahead and stopped on the road a short distance ahead. 

Brown got back in his car and drove toward Ponton’s van which subsequently began to reverse rapidly on the wrong side of the road, so the two cars had passed each other and now Ponton was positioned behind Brown once again.

“The defendant then drove into the driver’s side of the plaintiff’s car with great force, leaving black tire marks on the road showing the defendant’s trajectory and the force used by the van in the collision,” wrote Justice Stephens in his findings.

Ponton then reversed and struck Brown’s Smart Car at least three more times. 

While the van was colliding with Brown’s vehicle, a nearby witness heard the commotion and called police. 

After the incident

Brown was left with numerous injuries to his head and torso as a result of the altercation that left him with chronic pain. In total, he was requesting the court grant him his total claim of between $438,091 and $549,162.

At the end of the trial, Brown was awarded a total of $326,130.55. 


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Curtis Blandy

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