Ryan Straschnitzki has had to endure being paralyzed from the chest down, two years of rehab to try to recover from his injuries, and severe headaches, cognitive difficulties, nightmares, insomnia, severe anxiety, anger, and depression in the aftermath of that horrible bus crash.
Now, the 20-year-old from Airdrie is having to endure online death threats because he's suing for $13.5 million for the injuries he suffered in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash that took the lives of 16 people and injured 13 others.
It's because, among others named in the lawsuit, is the estate of Glen Doerksen, the driver of the team bus who was killed when it was hit by a semi the evening of April 6th. The suit alleges Doerksen was speeding at the time of the accident and knew he was approaching an intersection where several fatal collisions had happened in the past.
In a message sent to CochraneNow's sister station, Discover Airdrie, Ryan's mother Michelle Straschnitzki says the entire family feels terrible about how the lawsuit may look to others but it is out of their hands.
Michelle says the way the Canadian legal system is set up, all responsible parties have to be named in order to do tort law. A tort consists of a wrongful act or injury that leads to physical, emotional, or financial damage to a person in which another person could be held legally responsible.
Michelle explains that they are not, by any means, looking to hurt anyone, nor bankrupt Doerksen's family. She says the lawsuit is a necessary step in the process of ensuring that Ryan will be taken care of once she, and her husband Tom, are no longer around and that they are far from greedy.
Straschnitzki says while they can handle the nasty online comments, the death threats against her son are another matter altogether. She writes, "As a parent, I draw a firm line in the sand at the death threats Ryan has received."
Michelle says they will make a statement, as a family, once the other families' have filed their suits.
Her complete message reads:
"The way the Canadian system is set up, all responsible parties have to be named in order to do tort law. We are not, by any means, looking to hurt anyone, nor bankrupt Glen’s family. It is just a necessary step in the process of ensuring Ryan will be taken care of, once Tom and I are no longer here. We feel terrible about it, but it is out of our control. We are far from greedy. And, the nasty comments, we can handle, but, as a parent, I draw a firm line in the sand at the death threats Ryan has received,"