The daughter of a Hamilton man killed mid-January in a collision involving a snowplow on the Red Hill Valley Parkway (RHVP) says she’s “saddened” by a police decision not to press charges in the matter.
Nour Hassoun says her family is “disheartened” that Hamilton police (HPS) could not find a law to hold someone accountable for the incident that caused the death of her 67-year-old father Hussein.
“They verbatim said it doesn’t really matter what the final result is, as the driver is saying that they did not know they hit someone,” Hassoun told 900 CHML’s Good Morning Hamilton.
“That there’s no law in Canada, in the judicial court, that they could use to hold someone accountable is disheartening.”
In a media release last Wednesday, Hamilton police said the Collision Reconstruction Unit determined the legal threshold required to lay a charge in the occurrence was not met.
Hassoun was driving northbound on the RHVP on Jan. 17 around 6:30 a.m. during a massive snowstorm that dumped almost 50 centimetres of snow in the city.
Police say his vehicle became stuck at the side of the road near the Queenston Road Bridge.
Hassoun was reported to have gotten out of his vehicle to check for external damage. That was when he and his vehicle were struck by a snowplow.
Collision investigators say the evidence suggested the snowplow did not stop at the scene and kept going because the driver wasn’t aware he hit Hassoun.
In February, family members told Global News that their father was found by a passerby who alerted authorities.
Hussein was rushed to Hamilton General. He would die 12 days later.
Ward 9 councillor (Upper Stoney Creek) Brad Clark has suggested the city should apologize to Hassoun’s family but told the Hamilton Spectator “legal nuances” likely will “stifle” any such offering.
Hassoun’s daughter says that’s not what the family is looking for anyways.
“We want recognition. We want accountability. That’s what we want,” said Hassoun. “An apology is nice, but an apology isn’t going to bring my father back.”
The family says a civil action lawsuit is in the works but a claim has not been filed.
Hassoun says vengeance is not something they are seeking in a legal action, it’s more about answers to basic safety issues and accountability.
“At the end of the day, we want laws changed,” said Hassoun.
Hamilton police and the City of Hamilton have both characterized the matter as an “unfortunate incident” and confirmed the investigation has concluded.
Neither revealed if the plow involved was contracted by or owned by the city.
“We can confirm that we cooperated fully with the investigation,” City of Hamilton spokesperson Emily Trotta told Global News.