Hundreds attend funeral for taxi driver killed in Car2Go crash
VANCOUVER -- A funeral reception for a Yellow Cab driver killed on the job was filled to capacity Wednesday as hundreds went to pay their respects to the young man.
Sanehpal Randhawa died in the early morning hours of Dec. 29 after a Car2Go slammed into his vehicle at East 1st Avenue and Renfrew Street in Vancouver. Police say the car-share driver had run a red light as he allegedly avoided a CounterAttack road block and they’re investigating speed and alcohol as potential factors.
Family, friends and coworkers of the 28-year-old taxi driver filed into the Riverside Funeral Home in Delta as his mother wept in the chapel room. The parking lot was full of taxis from Yellow Cab and other companies coming together in a show of support.
“Some people in our lives leave too soon, suffer too much,” said Randhawa's cousin at the emotional service. “He taught us true love, appreciation and kindness.”
Randhawa’s brother, Jatinder Randhawa, sobbed as he addressed attendees in Punjabi, describing how responsible and family-oriented his younger brother had been and that though they hadn’t seen each other for 12 years they spoke via video chat nearly every day so Sanehpal could see his nephew in Australia.
"I'm thankful to all the friends and yellow cab who was contacting us and reporting us [sic] everything," said Jatinder. “We've yet to receive any phone calls or anything from authorities here."
Vancouver police told CTV News they’d had difficulties reaching Randhawa’s immediate family, but that they’d contacted Jatinder after he’d expressed frustration at the lack of communication.
“It’s a sad day, it’s somebody in the Yellow Cab family, from the taxi industry family we lost,” said Yellow Cab president Kulwant Sahota. “We will support the family.”
Randhawa has been driving for the company since 2015 and Sahota said he’d recently taken time off to spend with his father, who was visiting from India. Randhawa had recently bought a house and was excited to move in, planning to travel to Australia to see his brother and his family next month.
He’d moved to Canada in 2010 and several extended family members spoke about his dedication to his family, fondly referring to him as “Mamoo.”
The suspect driver
Vancouver police tell CTV News no charges have been laid yet as their investigation continues and that the driver of the Car2Go is still in hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The Irish Sun has identified the driver as Gary Holohan from Scotstown, Ireland. The paper quotes the Foreign Affairs department as being aware of the case and preparing to offer consular support.
B.C. police watchdog the Independent Investigations Office opened a file on the collision Dec. 30, since the suspect driver may have been avoiding a police roadblock.
"It's not clear at this point whether police action played any role in the collision," said IIO director Ron MacDonald at the time.
Randhawa’s family is now focussed on what comes next, hoping they’ll see charges soon. They hope this case can lead to changes to the system and greater scrutiny around the availability of carshare services so others can avoid the heartache they’re feeling.
"My brother is not in this world anymore but we want justice,” said Jatinder Randhawa.
“We don't want these things happening, still happening [to someone else]."