Out of bounds ball tees up civil claim
Sturgeon woman claims ball from golf course smashed windshield
By: Peter Boer
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 03:00 pm
A Sturgeon County woman is filing a claim against a local golf club after an errant golf ball smashed into her vehicle’s windshield while she drove past, injuring her daughter in the process.
Sharon Miske, who lives in Bristol Oaks, was driving her daughter into St. Albert Friday to catch the bus to the University of Alberta. She was driving down Sturgeon Road near Sturgeon Valley Golf & Country Club when she says a golf ball slammed into her windshield.
“We went into shock. We were shocked. We didn’t know what hit us,” Miske said. “I said, ‘We can’t drive this thing,’ so we went home to get another vehicle.”
Her daughter, Rebecca Isbister, was slightly injured, sustaining minor cuts to her legs from flying glass.
After trading vehicles and dropping her daughter off, Miske contacted Sturgeon Valley general manager Mark Beckwith, who said he would contact his insurance company and then take a look at the damage. Miske said Beckwith came by her home Tuesday morning and informed her his insurance wouldn’t cover it.
“That’s negligence. We have races going down Sturgeon Road,” Miske said, referring to events like the Tour de l’Alberta. “What if someone dies?”
Beckwith said it was an unfortunate accident but the incident boils down to Miske and the person who hit the ball that hit her truck.
“I totally understand that, but it’s between the person who hit the ball and the person whose truck got damaged and that’s the way it is,” he said.
While there is no netting separating the golf course from the road, Beckwith said there are tall stands of trees to stop balls from going onto the road.
“Every now and then a ball will go over them,” Beckwith said, adding incidents such as Friday’s are rare.
Miske was also upset about the treatment she received from an RCMP officer she spoke with. The officer told her because no one was hurt, it wasn’t something that could be followed up.
“His comment to me was, ‘I golf too,’ ” Miske said.
Staff Sgt. Mac Richards of the Morinville RCMP detachment said the call was placed over the weekend, where callers with non-emergency complaints are automatically re-routed to Edmonton where complaints are taken. The file is then forwarded to the appropriate detachment.
Richards, speaking generally and not about this case in particular, said that unless the golfer deliberately aimed for the truck, there would be no intent and, subsequently, no criminal offence would have taken place.
“We’d have to try and identify the golfer, assuming the golfer even knows,” Richards said.
Miske, acting on the advice of an accident-injury law firm, has begun the process of filing a civil claim against the golf course. She has already picked up the paperwork from the St. Albert Provincial Court House and said she would file the claim late Tuesday or Wednesday.
She did not know how much she would seek in damages.
“I lost my whole long weekend to this,” Miske said. “Now when I drive by that course, I start shaking and so does my daughter. She’s concerned about driving on that road.”