Mother heartbroken after no charges in party bus death

Chelsea James

Chelsea James

Crown counsel’s decision to lay no charges in the January death of 23-year-old Chelsea James, who died in January after falling from a party bus, has devastated James’ family a second time.

No wonder: the police investigation found that the door James tumbled out of was defective and opened easily with a gentle push when it should have been locked. Worse, the limousine operator, Silver Lady Limousine Services, paid a $311 fine for operating an unsafe vehicle and $230 for driving with open liquor in the vehicle.

The safety and liquor violations — not the first for Silver Lady — underline how the “party bus” industry operates in violation of the law. Despite a provincial “crackdown” in 2015, the operation of unsafe vehicles nets only a traffic violation, even if a death occurs, as it did in this case.

The struggle to make this industry safe began with the tragic death of Shannon Raymond many years ago. It’s not over.

Clearly Transport Minister Todd Stone has more work to do to bring this industry up to proper standards.