WATCH: We’re hearing from the family of a woman killed in a tragic accident one week ago. Maryann Kristensen’s relatives say they are struggling to lay her to rest. John Hua reports.
Chris Rivera is still coming to grips over the sudden loss of his mother, hit and killed while crossing the street in her mobility scooter last weekend.
He’s also coming to grips with B.C.’s laws surrounding compensation for the sudden loss of loved ones.
“She was my mom, and now she’s gone and like anybody’s mom she deserves to be laid to rest with respect,” he says.
It was around 8 p.m. on March 29 that Rivera’s mother, 75-year-old Maryann Kristensen passed away. A van hit her at 96th Ave and King George Boulevard, and while Rivera says police have told him his mother was not at fault, he has no ability to seek damages to cover the funeral costs.
“If an insured person is killed in a motor vehicle crash, burial and funeral expenses will be reimbursed to a maximum of $2,500,” reads ICBC’s statement on funeral expenses and accident benefits.
Under the province’s Family Compensation Act, damages available to family members for dead relatives are generally restricted to the financial contributions the victim provided. Kristensen was on a fixed pension and had no life insurance.
“If this had happened anywhere else, we wouldn’t be facing this issue,” says Rivera. “They’ve been victimizing innocent families who are suffering tragedies, at no fault of the victim, and they are victimizing them over again.”
Rivera says he’s hoping to raise the money for a proper funeral for Kristensen through a GoFundMe campaign, giving the family closure to a tragic loss.
“I’m lost. I don’t know what to do. My mom’s gone, she was all I had left.”