Gabriel Pollard,16, died after a transportation lift used by the Disabled Sailing Association of Victoria broke, dropping him to the ground and into the water. His mother, Carrie Pollard, is now taking his death to the BC Supreme Court. (Submitted/GoFundMe)

Victoria mother whose son died in sailing accident goes to court

Teen Gabriel Pollard died after his transportation sling malfunctioned

The mother of a 16-year-old who died after his transportation lift failed is taking his case to the BC Supreme Court.

Carrie Pollard was present when her son, Gabriel Pollard, was getting ready to sail with the Disabled Sailing Association of British Columbia (DSA) while at Munroe Head at a dock shared with the Canadian Forces Sailing Association at 1001 Maple Bank Road on June 21.

Gabriel had muscular dystrophy which left him wheelchair-bound, and relied on a lift and sling to transport him in and out of the sailboat.

READ MORE: Investigation continues into death of teen Victoria sailor in dockside accident

While being transported onto the vessel, the sling failed and Gabriel was dropped onto the sailboat and into the water.

According to court documents, “Gabriel succumbed to his injuries from being dropped from the Lift and/or Sling and from being in the water for some time.”

Court documents also indicate that Gabriel was not wearing a life jacket at the time.

Pollard is filing a civil claim against the DSA, the Victoria Integration Society, Recreation Integration Victoria, the Canadian Forces Sailing Association, the Department of National Defence, the Attorney General of Canada, and two unknown employees or volunteers present at the time, identified simply as John Doe 1 and John Doe 2.

ALSO READ: B.C. woman with physical disability shocked after being refused straw

Collectively, the defendants are accused of 33 points of failure, including a failure to provide a proper and safe lift and sling, failure to properly inspect the sling and failure to take “prompt and appropriate action” to rescue Gabriel when the sling failed.

Pollard claims watching her son get injured, and later succumbing to these injuries, has caused her shock, pain and suffering, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, nightmares, wage loss, as well as loss of care and companionship, amongst other complaints.

Pollard did not wish to put forward a comment about her decision to go to court, and her legal representative Christopher Considine said he couldn’t comment on the open case, other than it was “a very sad matter.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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