I just pulled this down from the local online news:

Accident victim loses licence
Man who spent eight days trapped in the wreckage of his car told to stop driving: Medical condition cited


Erin McKay National Post Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Joe Spring is appealling the province's decision to suspend his right to drive.

LANGLEY, B.C. - The young B.C. man who miraculously survived eight days trapped in his wrecked car last year has lost his driver's licence.

Joe Spring, of Aldergrove, says the provincial Superintendent of Motor Vehicles took away his licence, claiming he had suffered brain damage from his ordeal in May, 2001.

However, Mr. Spring says there is nothing wrong with his brain: The provincial licencing authorities simply do not like his attitude.

Mr. Spring was found by RCMP eight days after he fell asleep at the wheel and his car ran off the road near Williams Lake, crashing into bush that obscured the wreck.

The 20-year-old, who lived at home with his parents and worked in a Safeway grocery store, had been making an overnight drive from Vancouver to a friend's graduation party in Prince Rupert.

He veered off the highway on a straight stretch of road in the pre-dawn darkness.

When he was finally found, he was so badly injured, the first officer on the scene believed he was dead.

He said after his recovery that he had no memory of the drive, the accident or the time spent trapped in his wrecked car.

Mr. Spring was tested last January by an occupational therapist who makes licencing recommendations to the Motor Vehicle branch.

He was told his driving skills were borderline and that he should take a defensive driving course and stop driving in the meantime.

"I mouthed her off and told her she was wrong," said Mr. Spring, who insisted his poor driving was because he had not been driving since his accident and was out of practice.

"I had no problem with taking [the defensive driving course], but there was no reason to stay off the road."

According to Mr. Spring, the therapist asked him not to drive while she completed her report on his condition, but he refused.

When his father later telephoned the therapist to see how the report was progressing, "he got offended by her attitude and ended up yelling, which probably didn't help us," Mr. Spring said.

Two weeks later, he received a notice saying his driver's licence had been suspended. His medical condition was cited as the reason for the suspension, but Mr. Spring thinks the therapist was offended by his attitude.

"She thought I had a personality disorder," said Mr. Spring, who admits he was mocking a virtual test used to check his brain function during the assessment. "She said I lose my temper too easily to be on the road, but I don't."

Mr. Spring said he has not been driving since the suspension and is appealing the decision to revoke his licence.

Shelagh Stanley, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Transportation, said she could not talk about Mr. Spring's case.

However, she said decisions to suspend licences are based on a number of factors, including family recommendations, medical history, police reports and driving records.

They are not based solely on the opinion of one person, she said.

"They do not make a decision on a whim," Ms. Stanley said.

Copyright 2002 National Post