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Driver accused in triple fatality denies his negligence caused accident

Samuel Alec files response to suit launched by wife of deceased cyclist Ross Chafe



The man charged in connection with a May accident on Highway 99 that killed three people has responded to a civil claim by the wife of one of the deceased, countering accusations of negligence.

Lillooet's Samuel Alec, 43, is accused in the May 31 deaths of Whistler cyclists Ross Chafe and Kelly Blunden, who were struck by the Chevrolet Cavalier Alec was driving north of Pemberton on May 31. A passenger in the vehicle, Pemberton's Paul Pierre Jr., was also killed.

A civil suit filed in September in B.C. Supreme Court by Chafe's wife, Lizanne Bussieres, claims that Alec crossed the centre line and struck the cyclists head on. It also alleges that Chafe's death was caused or contributed to by Alec's negligence, by operating a vehicle while intoxicated or otherwise impaired, by driving without due care and attention, and driving at an excessive or improper rate of speed.

Alec was arrested in August on three counts of criminal negligence causing death, three counts of impaired driving causing death and three counts of driving over the legal blood-alcohol limit. He was also charged for failing to remain at the scene of the accident.

In his response, Alec denied all the claims in Chafe's suit, saying the accident did not occur "as a result of any negligence on his part."

The filing accuses Chafe, a former national team cyclist, of failing to ride his bike on a highway "with due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for others using the highway."

It also claims Chafe failed to keep his bike under proper control and failed to take "reasonable precautions" to avoid the accident. The response goes onto claim that Chafe failed to stay in the correct lane and operated his bike "beside other cyclists instead of in single file."

Alec denied all relief sought by Bussieres, who is seeking damages in relation to losses suffered by her and her three daughters, including loss of support, loss of household assistance, loss of inheritance and loss of guidance and companionship.

The wife of Blunden, who worked as an IT manager at the Resort Municipality of Whistler, is also suing Alec in connection with the triple fatality.

None of the above allegations have been proven in court.

An email to Alec's lawyer was not returned by press time.


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