Montreal Gazette

Truck driver found guilty for collision that killed 4


Jagmeet Grewal, the truck driver who caused a fiery crash in Laval that killed four people in 2019, was found guilty Friday on all eight of the criminal charges he faced during his lengthy trial.

On Aug. 5, 2019, his truck was travelling at speeds estimated at 93 to 100 km/h on Highway 440 when it crashed into a line of cars that had come to a stop at a crowded exit to Highway 15.

In 2020, the now 57-year-old Dorval resident was charged with four counts of criminal negligence causing death and another four of causing injury, and on Friday Quebec Court Judge Yanick Laramée found him guilty on all counts. The judge determined Grewal's negligence caused the deaths of Robert Tanguay-plante, Sylvain Pouliot, Michèle Bernier and Gilles Marsolais.

In his 47-page decision, the judge summarized much of the evidence heard during the trial, including testimony from a driver who was behind Grewal as they approached the exit. The witness said while he was able to keep a safe distance from the truck, it appeared Grewal did not slow down and did not use his brakes before his truck plowed into the other vehicles.

Video evidence presented at trial supported what the witness said. It appeared the truck's brake lights never came on, and the audio of the video evidence recorded no sound of brakes being suddenly applied.

“This part of the evidence is convincing. Without a doubt, the accused was driving far too fast given the imminent danger in front of him, and he simply failed to react in any way whatsoever to avoid the crash,” the judge wrote.

The judge also determined Grewal was driving a truck when he was “physically and psychologi­cally incapable of doing so.”

Grewal lost his truck driver's licence on a permanent basis in 2014 following a fatal accident in Illinois on March 23, 2012 that left him with physical injuries and mental health problems. During the trial, it was alleged Grewal lied in order to get a new licence. In his decision, the judge noted it appeared Grewal concealed a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis from the SAAQ. The case will enter the sentencing stage in May.

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