Case tests new careless driving law
STRATFORD — Ontario’s new careless driving laws could be under the spotlight in a Stratford courtroom after a local woman was fatally injured while out for a walk in the city with her husband.
Two pedestrians were struck by a motorist on Sept. 16 in Stratford, police said. One of them, Lorraine Ridgen, 57, of Stratford, died on Oct. 3.
Ian MacArthur has been charged with careless driving causing bodily harm or death under the Highway Traffic Act. He is to appear in court Tuesday.
The two pedestrians were hit by a Nissan Pathfinder turning left on to Huron Street from John Street about 8:15 p.m. The other pedestrian, the woman’s husband, was taken to hospital with injuries and later released.
A family spokesperson said Friday 59-year-old Peter Ridgen is “pretty OK,” but the family is still “grieving and upset.”
The driver “was very distraught,” police said at the time.
On Sept. 1 — about two weeks before the incident — Ontario introduced what it termed “tougher penalties for careless driving and endangering pedestrians.” The province said drivers convicted of careless driving causing bodily harm or death could face fines from $2,000 to $50,000, six demerit points, a driver’s licence suspension of up to five years, and as long as two years in jail.