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Wife of fallen cyclist Kelly Blunden launches civil suit against driver, vehicle owner

Suit is the second to be brought against alleged drunk driver Samuel Alec of Lillooet

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The wife of deceased Whistler cyclist Kelly Blunden has launched a civil lawsuit against the driver and owner of the vehicle involved in a fatal crash on May 31 that killed three.

The civil suit was filed in Supreme Court on Oct. 8 by Blunden's wife, Donalda, and alleges that the driver of a 1995 Chevrolet Cavalier travelling eastbound on Highway 99 near Pemberton, 43-year-old Lillooet man Samuel Alec, crossed the centre line and struck Blunden and fellow cyclist Ross Chafe, killing them.

A front-seat passenger in the vehicle, Pemberton's Paul Pierre Jr., was also killed.

The suit alleges that Blunden's death was caused or contributed to by Alec's negligence after he operated the vehicle while intoxicated or otherwise impaired, drove without due care and attention for other persons on the highway and drove at an excessive or improper rate of speed, among other contributing factors.

Donalda is seeking damages in relation to losses suffered by herself and her two adult children, including loss of guidance and companionship of their husband and father, loss of support, loss of household assistance and loss of inheritance. Funeral and court costs are also being sought.

The suit also names the Chevrolet's owner, Carmen Ned, and alleges that she caused or contributed to Blunden's death by failing to properly repair or maintain the vehicle, and by consenting to allow Alec to drive the car while knowing "he was incompetent to drive by reason of impairment by alcohol or other intoxicants," among other contributing factors.

In September, Chafe's wife, Lizanne Bussieres, filed a civil suit of her own, also alleging negligence on the part of Alec and Ned. That was followed by a motion from the Insurance Corporation of B.C. (ICBC) to be added as a third party in the suit, allowing the Crown corporation to contest the civil suit despite the fact it is also denying insurance coverage to the defendants.

Alec was arrested Aug. 14 and charged with 10 counts, including three counts of criminal negligence causing death, impaired driving causing death and failing to remain at the scene of the accident, according to the RCMP.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

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