When there has been a motor vehicle accident, it is often the case in ICBC claims where the Plaintiff and Defendant have conflicting versions of events. When this occurs, it can sometimes be very difficult for a judge to determine what actually happened. The existence of independent witnesses can play a vital role in assisting the Court to arrive at a determination of liability.
In Chang v. Alcuaz, the Plaintiff and the Defendant had differing recollections as to who actually had a green light at the time of the collision. The Court, in relying primarily on the testimony of two independent witnesses, ruled that the Plaintiff was liable.
 The evidence in this case is contradictory and unreliable in many of its details. It is often difficult, in cases of this kind, to put much reliance on estimates of time and distance given by witnesses in connection with a surprising and traumatic event. It is very hard to see, for example, how Ms. Currimbhoy simply could have been one or two car lengths behind the plaintiff without being involved in the collision. There are several other examples of distances, some in metres, some in feet, that simply do not support reliable inferences. The same is true of some time estimates. Except to indicate that an event happened too fast to react to it, or to allow time to react, I do not think much can be based on estimates of time, distance or speed.
 Liability comes down to two questions:
(1) who had the benefit of the light, and
(2) was the operator of the vehicle with the benefit of the light, nonetheless responsible to some degree, in the circumstances.
 Respecting the first question, there is reason to doubt the plaintiff’s assertion that she had the benefit of a green light as she now asserts. She was unconscious following the accident and her original statement is at odds with what she presently says. It would be difficult to accept her version of the event without corroboration.
 The assistance offered by the witness, Ms. Currimbhoy, is highly debatable. She, alone, among the witnesses, suggests that the event happened in daylight. On a common sense basis, as I have indicated, she could not be right about her proximity to the plaintiff at the time of the collision. There is also the difficulty that none of the other witnesses saw any other vehicle proximate to the collision. There is a further difficulty posed by Mr. Humphrey’s flatly stated observation that he saw the woman who identified herself as a co-worker pull up afterthe collision. It is not conclusively established that that was the same person, but it is telling that neither Mr. Jantzen, nor Mr. Humphrey, who observed the entire incident, noted any other vehicle near the scene.
 The defendant, Mr. Jantzen and Mr. Humphrey all say firmly that the defendant had the benefit of the green light when he entered the intersection. Mr. Jantzen’s impression that the defendant may have been “timing” the light is borne out in the defendant’s description of what occurred, in that he says he slowed and then accelerated when he saw the light turn green.
 The evidence from the City of Vancouver respecting the timing of the lights that day at that intersection is also useful. If the light was turning, an eastbound driver had 3.5 seconds of an amber light before the change. For 1.5 seconds traffic in all directions is governed by a red light. This means that by the time the light turns to green, eastbound traffic, at any reasonable speed, has had a warning and ample time to stop.
 The scenario posted by the plaintiff that the light was green or green turning amber as she hit the intersection would imply a red light north and southbound that continued for five seconds after the defendant entered the intersection. This would preclude any impression of the defendant “timing” the light because he would have entered fully on red. That is not in accordance with the observation of Mr. Jantzen or of his passenger, Mr. Humphrey. Both were credible and balanced witnesses who were not caught up in the event themselves except to witness it. Mr. Jantzen, in particular, was paying specific attention to the light because he had been waiting for it to change. His view was unobstructed.
 I am satisfied, on the basis of a consideration of all the evidence, that at the time the collision occurred the defendant had the benefit of the green light and that the plaintiff should not have been in the intersection when the collision occurred.