A North Saanich woman has been charged with dangerous driving causing bodily harm following a crash that left an 11-year-old girl with a serious brain injury.
Twenty-one-year-old Tenessa Nikirk faces one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm in the Dec. 20, 2017 crash at the Ash Road and Torquay Drive intersection in Saanich. The charge was sworn on Oct. 11.
Leila Bui, an Arbutus Middle School student, was in a crosswalk when she was struck by a black SUV at around 8:16 a.m. that morning. She was placed in a medically-induced coma and underwent nine surgeries at Victoria General Hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit.
She returned home in June but her brain injury has left her non-communicative.
Saanich police said since the time of the crash, they were able to gather a substantial amount of evidence, resulting in approval of the criminal charge of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
The Bui family has filed a civil suit against Nikirk and the District of Saanich.
WATCH: A group in Saanich says more needs to be done to make the dangerous stretch of Ash Road safe. It’s the same spot where 11-year-old Leila Bui was hit by a car last year. She survived but suffered a catastrophic brain injury. Her family has launched legal action.
The family is seeking damages for the personal injuries, losses and expenses suffered by Leila and the Bui family.
The claim, filed in June, finds fault with the District of Saanich for not maintaining trees that obstruct views of drivers and pedestrians and alleges the district knew the intersection was a hazard previous to Leila’s accident.
The lawsuit also alleges that the driver at fault was negligent by failing to keep the vehicle under control, driving at an unlawful rate of speed, failing to keep a proper lookout and failing to hit the brakes or take evasive action before Bui was hit. Other allegations in the civil lawsuit include driving under the influence and using an electronic device.
The civil suit lists Bui’s injuries, including a “catastrophic” brain injury, a ruptured spleen, neck injuries, fractured vertebrae and rib fractures. None of the allegations in the statement of claim have been proven in court. A statement of defence has not been filed.
Nikirk will appear in Victoria Provincial Court on Nov. 7.