Driver pleads guilty in 2008 crash that killed 2 Surrey seniors
The driver of the car that killed that her mother and father in a crash nearly four years ago pleaded guilty in court Tuesday, but Varinder Badh says Ravinder Binning's admission comes four years too late and doesn't erase the fact he fled the deadly scene without helping the victims.
Varinder was in a car with her parents, Dilbag and Bakhshish Badh, and sister Rupi in 2008 when they were struck from behind by another vehicle on 128 Street near 85 Avenue. The family was returning home from a wedding rehearsal. Dilbag, 61, and his wife Bakhshish, 60, died at the scene and their two daughters suffered serious injuries. The occupants of the car that hit them ran away.
While the crash occurred in July 2008, Binning was not arrested and charged until June 2010.
His trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday in Surrey Provincial Court, but instead, Binning pleaded guilty to four charges related to the fatal crash – two counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, one count of dangerous operation of a vehicle causing bodily harm and one count of failure to stop at the scene of an accident.
"This is bittersweet for us, but it's confirmation that he ran from his offences because he knew criminal charges were coming for him," said Varinder.
She called Binning a "coward" and "spineless" for having fled the scene of the accident.
"He saw the carnage that he caused," she said, "he saw my baby sister crying and asking him for help, he saw my mom lying on the pavement that day. He ran."
She said her family is now hoping the courts impose a sentence that reflects the severity of the crime.
"Our position is the judiciary really needs to recognize negligence on our roads and give the sentences that are available," she said. "Hopefully our judge in our case takes a position and sets a precedent in Canada because right now the precedent in Canada is very measly."
Her brother Raminder Badh echoed her sentiment, saying dangerous drivers need to be dealt with harshly.
"We are hurt by the loss of our mom and dad, but we are also hurt by the loss of the other people after our family," he said, referring to Surrey's Kassandra Kaulius, who was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver last spring. "Before you become a victim, you really need to step up to this. This is a cancer and if we don't get rid of this cancer, it's going to take us all."
The court heard Tuesday that Crown prosecutors will likely seek jail time in a federal penitentiary for Binning. His sentencing is scheduled for March 13.
This isn't the first time Binning has been in court for driving offences.
Last month, he was sentenced after pleading guilty to impaired driving, flight from a police officer and obstruction of a police officer for an incident that occurred eight months after the crash that took the Badh's lives. He was fined $2,300, 16 months probation and prohibited from driving for 18 months.
Since the 2008 crash, the Badh family have fought for the creation of a vehicular homicide law. Such laws currently exist in the U.S., but not in Canada.