A 21-year-old man sobbed in a Calgary courtroom on Friday after admitting to an impaired driving crash that killed a taxi driver and his passenger last year.

Police were called to the intersection of Macleod Trail and 12 Avenue SW at about 2:00 a.m. on May 2, 2015 for a crash involving an Associated Cab, a Cadillac Escalade pickup truck and a Honda Civic.

It’s believed that the driver of the Escalade ran a red light and then hit the Civic and then the taxi.

Amritpal Kharbanda, 46, and his passenger 25-year-old Jillian Lavallee died in the crash.

Ali Montoya was charged and on Friday pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal negligence causing death in a Calgary courtroom.

The families of the victims were in court for the proceedings and had to listen to graphic details of the seconds leading up to the crash.

Lavallee’s parents and sister left the courtroom when a video of the crash, that was captured on a police camera, was shown.

Kharbanda's widow stayed and watched and wiped away tears as the footage was presented.

In an agreed statement of facts, court heard that Montoya was going 123 kilometers per hour just seconds before the crash.

Both victims suffered multiple blunt force trauma injuries and died in hospital.

Lavallee’s family says they are pleased that the accused admitted fault and say they will prepare victim impact statements for his sentencing hearing.

“We're not vengeful, we’re not filled with hate for anybody in particular but we are very, we want to be very clear what the impact this has had on our lives and it's significant,” said Dan Lavallee, Jillian's father.

“We want to start making other people aware of the critical impact that it has on families. Until you're actually impacted by something like this, you don't think about it,” said Brenda Lavallee, Jillian's mother.

Montoya also pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing bodily harm to another person who was in the third vehicle.

A sentencing hearing will be set for early June.

Source: CTV News Calgary


Last updated on: 2016-05-20 | Link to this post