Daylight semi crash echoes Humboldt: judge

By Andru McCracken


According to a statement of facts read into the court record by Crown counsel, Baldev Singh Hahar’s tractor trailer hit a 2013 GMC Sierra pickup truck at highway speed.

Hahar’s semi hit the pickup from behind. It was stopped at a construction zone near Blue River. Signs indicating that construction was occuring, including signs to slow traffic from 100 km/h to 70 and then to 50, were posted and visible 1 km from the site.

Remarkably the driver of the pick up sustained non-life threatening injuries.

An investigation conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement Branch found nothing wrong with the semi-trailer unit that would have resulted in the crash and also that the semi made no skid marks before impact.

Judge Michael Brecknell noted Hahar’s 18 driving breaches including a similar offence for driving without due care and attention over his 20 year driving career.

“Driving in the province of British Columbia is a privilege and not a right. The consequences of an accident where a person is driving a large transport truck can be catastrophic for everybody else. The evidence suggests you did not even slow down, which clearly indicates a lack of care and attention. I want you to think about how things might have been different if you had collided with a bus load of hockey players,” said Brecknell, invoking the Humboldt Broncos.

“The driver in that case accepted responsibility but noted that he simply didn’t see the stop sign,” he said.

“I hope your expression of remorse today is genuine because your previous driving record gives me great concern.”

Brecknell ordered that Hahar pay a fine of $2000.

Whether or not Harar is allowed to drive again wasn’t left to Brecknell, it falls to the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles of BC. Brecknell ordered a transcript of his finding, perhaps with the intention that the superintendent might consider it before granting Hahar his driving privileges.

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