Family suing over 2007 wedding procession deaths
The husband of a woman killed along with five others when an elderly man drove his pickup truck into a wedding procession has filed a lawsuit against the driver and several others.
Hardip Singh Sanghera filed documents in B.C. Supreme Court, seeking damages under the Family Compensation Act in connection with the 2007 death of his wife, Harjinder Kaur Sanghera.
Last summer, Abbotsford police announced there would no charges laid against Bachittar Singh Brar, then 71, who was driving the pickup truck.
Besides the six people killed, 19 others were injured when Brar drove through the large, candle-lit group as it paraded up a dimly lit country road east of Vancouver on Aug. 24, 2007.
Sanghera claims in the court documents that Brar caused or contributed to his wife's death by driving without due care and attention, driving the vehicle without effective brakes or failing to apply the brakes.
The lawsuit also claims that Brar was driving the vehicle when he was impaired by alcohol, drugs or fatigue.
It lists 21 factors the plaintiff alleges that Brar should have known were negligent.
The court documents names the owners of the residence where the wedding reception occurred, and alleges they were negligent in allowing the deceased woman and others to "become intoxicated."
Eleven defendants have been named in the lawsuit, including the owner of the pickup truck, the City of Abbotsford, B & A Farms, and the Insurance Corp. of B.C.
The City of Abbotsford, the lawsuit alleges, was negligent for failing to provide sufficient lighting and traffic signals in the area where the accident occurred.
Abbotsford police said their investigation found the driver's actions did not constitute an offence and recommended no charges, an opinion shared by the Crown.
Police said last summer there was no evidence that alcohol, fatigue or any medical condition played a role in the crash.
They looked at the speed and mechanical condition of the truck, as well as the weather and road conditions.
There was no evidence that the driver was speeding or that his perception, eyesight or reaction time was in any way impaired, police said.
The investigation found that there were about 35 people in the wedding party procession walking along the rural road, returning from one pre-wedding party to another nearby.
The last few members had just crossed the roadway, joining their friends walking south in the southbound lane when the party was struck from behind by Brar's truck around 11 p.m.
Police noted that there were no sidewalks and no overhead street lights on the rural roadway.
Killed were Rubal Gill, 21, and her brother, Bhupinder Clair, 25, along with Harjinder Sanghera, 57, Satwinder Mahil, 57, Ripudaman Dhillon, 32 and Damanpreet Kang, 13.
Victims and families of the dead have previously filed other lawsuits against Brar, his son Kulwant Singh Brar and the City of Abbotsford.
In a statement of defence filed in connection with earlier lawsuits, Brar said it was the wedding party members who were negligent as they walked along the road in the dark.