An Edmonton man who caused a three-car crash that killed a 16-year-old driving to the hospital to see his newborn niece was sentenced to 18 months in jail Friday.

In December, Justice Donna Shelley found 36-year-old Jayant Soni guilty of dangerous driving causing death. While she was “very suspicious” Soni was street racing at the time, she said the evidence fell short of convicting him on that second charge.

Jeremie LeBlanc was killed when his Oldsmobile was struck by a Lexus and a Mercedes-Benz speeding on 66th Street near 31st Avenue on the night of April 23, 2010. Soni was driving the Mercedes.

On Friday, Shelley said she was not convinced Soni was remorseful for his driving that night, particularly because he has been given two speeding tickets since the fatal crash.

“I am not persuaded Mr. Soni has any remorse for his own actions in causing the death of Mr. LeBlanc,” the judge said.

In a pre-sentence report read in court, Soni complained about his conviction to a psychiatrist. “I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t think there should’ve been a court case. It was just a terrible accident.”

Court previously heard Soni was speeding between 85 kilometres an hour and 100 km/h alongside the Lexus shortly before the crash. The speed limit is 60 km/h.

Several witnesses testified said they heard engines revving before they heard the collision.

That night, LeBlanc was driving to Grey Nuns Hospital where his sister Mona had just given birth. In a statement, Mona LeBlanc called Soni’s sentence disappointing.

“After waiting over five years for this day, and him only receiving 18 months, is very upsetting,” she wrote.

Julie LeBlanc also thought the sentence was too lenient.

“A sad sentence of a year-and-a-half jail time is just mind-blowing. I just hope somehow, somewhere my brother knows his life was worth more and he deserved so much better.”

After his jail sentence, Soni will be on probation for two years. He will be banned from driving for three years.

Court heard that Soni’s real estate licence was suspended after his conviction.

In 2012, Soni sued the LeBlanc family for $200,000 and claimed the accident was LeBlanc’s fault. The suit was later dropped.

The driver of the Lexus, Rena Noi Onevathana, received a 90-day sentence for fleeing the scene of the accident. He has since been sentenced to a further 30 days for ignoring his driving prohibition.

Source: Edmonton Journal

Last updated on: 2015-06-01 | Link to this post