'Like she was a worthless person': Family upset over sentencing in fatal B.C. Canada Post crash
VANCOUVER -- Family members of a nursing student fatally struck by a Canada Post truck in Metro Vancouver two years ago say they're outraged by the sentence given to the driver involved.
Esthersita Achari was just metres from her Richmond, B.C., home, and was crossing on a green light the afternoon of Dec. 27, 2017.
The 27-year-old from India was hit by a large semi-truck as the driver turned left at Garden City Road and Sea Island Way.
"We thought it would be criminal offence," said her brother, William David Achari, who was working on his medical degree in China at the time. "For two years we've been waiting each and every day for a justice. We've been praying for justice. We wake up and sleep hoping that the Canadian government and the justice system of Canada will really give us justice."
Achari says his family was shocked when they learned the driver, Rajwinder Goraya, would face no criminal charges.
Goraya was charged under the provincial Motor Vehicle Act for driving without due care and attention. He pleaded guilty, and last month was handed a $1,300 fine and a three-month driving prohibition.
"The punishment makes us feel like she was a worthless person; she had no value," said Achari, who came to Canada with his grieving father to find out why the Crown didn't pursue tougher charges or push for harsher sentencing.
They are also suing the driver and Canada Post in civil court.
"I can't believe the justice system can just let someone walk away with this," said Achari's cousin, Shathesh Kuhendrarajah, who calls the judgment a slap on the wrist.
Kuhendrarajah said he fondly remembers Christmas dinner with his cousin at his family's Surrey, B.C., home, just two days before she was killed.
"When I was dropping her home she was talking about how her life is finally becoming brighter, she's graduating to become a nurse," Kuhendrarajah said.
Achari became a doctor, something he said his late sister wanted for him. He said her memory is the only thing that keeps him going.
"(Her death) has broken our family into pieces," he said.