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 Posted in    |  on March 14th, 2013  |  by

Fatal Kootenay Park crash trial set for six days

TRIAL SET - The trial for the man accused of dangerous driving causing this July 2011 crash in Kootenay National Park will face trial over six days next spring. Pioneer file photo

TRIAL SET – The trial for the man accused of dangerous driving causing this July 2011 crash in Kootenay National Park will face trial over six days next spring. Pioneer file photo

By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff

A Vancouver man charged with four counts of dangerous driving causing death in connection with a July 22nd, 2011 collision between his tractor trailer and a dodge camper van carrying a California family of four, made his third court appearance by proxy in Invermere Provincial court on Monday, March 11th.
Acting as a representative for Jaswinder Singh Bagri, 41, and his lawyer Selwyn Russell Chamberlain, Buffy Blakley requested a Punjabi interpreter be present for the trial and noted that Mr. Chamberlain would be hiring his own forensic expert to analyze the crash.
Appearing for the Crown, Basil McCormick announced plans to use 10 civilian witnesses, a police expert in collisions and a police expert in forensics during the trial.
The defense estimated a seven-day trial, while the crown requested five days. Judge Ron Webb found the middle ground and set the trial for six days, which will likely be scheduled for a date in the spring of 2014.
The details surrounding the tragic events of July 22nd 2011, began when Mr. Bagri drove his commercial vehicle, which was towing an unloaded flat-deck B-train tractor trailer southbound on Highway 93 through Kootenay National Park.
A Dodge camper towing a Suzuki SUV and carrying a family of four vacationing in B.C. from Palo Alto, California, was headed northbound near Olive Lake when Mr. Bagri lost control of his vehicle. The semi trailer crossed the highway centerline and jackknifed directly into the path of the Dodge Camper.
The vacationing family were pinned against a highway guard rail by the impact of the semi trailer, which then ignited, trapping the family in the fire.
Robert Howard, 48, his wife Ana-Maria Dias, 50, and their two daughters Veronica, 9, and Samantha, 11, were killed in the fire. Mr. Bagri has plead not guilty to all four counts. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 8th in Invermere Provincial Court to set a date for his trial.

Kristian Rasmussen
Email: kristian@cv-pioneer.com
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Reporter Kristian Rasmussen is a coastal transplant. Originally from White Rock, B.C., Kristian has traded the salty sea breeze for the clear mountain air. Kristian graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism from Thompson Rivers University and lives for the mountain lifestyle. You may find Kristian on the trails, at the hot springs, or covering the community beat.

One Response to Fatal Kootenay Park crash trial set for six days

  1. g Gage-Cole says:

    I have had these commercial truckers sitting a foot away from my bumper while I’m doing the speed limit through this Park.They fear god nor man,in such a hurry they pee into bottles and toss them on the roadside, The road is fine ,lower the speed limit for truckers!
    There are two official languages in Canada,who pays for an interpreter?
    Regards, Gord G-C

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