37-year-old admitted to having open liquor bottle in truck when he hit victim's car

Kulwinder Singh Chohan pleaded guilty today in a Calgary courtroom to charges in connection to the death of Francis Pesa last year.

The 20-year-old died in January 2014 just five days after his car was struck by a truck on New Year's Day.

The truck was travelling southbound on Metis Trail N.W. when it crossed the centre line and hit two cars, including the one Pesa was driving.

The truck was then struck by a vehicle travelling northbound with four passengers. 

Pesa had just arrived home from the Philippines two hours earlier.

His father lost 41 members of his family in Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the country in November.

The entire family had decided to travel to the Philippines after gathering supplies and medication to help people whose homes were destroyed and to say goodbye to lost family members.

Emotional victim impact statements

Chohan, 37, was initially charged with impaired driving and failing a breathalizer. The charges were later upgraded to impaired driving causing death and causing death with a blood alcohol of more than 0.08.

The court heard that Chohan had an open bottle of liquor in his truck when the crash occurred.

The Crown is asking for a sentence of three years and a five-year suspension of his licence. The sentencing hearing will resume Friday.

It was an emotional day in the courtroom as Pesa's family gave their victim impact statements.

"Personally, I don't believe he has remorse. I don't think he's shown it enough," said his brother Hervin Pesa. "It took a year, and he wasn't even prepared to say a statement even if his lawyer prepared it for him. He's not even willing to write one today, yet we were supposed to prepare that for ourselves."

Pesa's friend Lian Tolentino says she is still trying to make sense of it all.

"And even now I think — a year later — I still can't make sense of it. It doesn't make sense to me."

Source: CBC News Calgary


Last updated on: 2015-01-09 | Link to this post