A trial confirmation hearing will be held on February 10th, 2014, for a Vancouver man facing four counts of dangerous driving causing death in connection with a fatal crash in Kootenay National Park on July 22nd, 2011.
Jaswinder Singh Bagri, 41, will be in Invermere Provincial Court for the hearing. The trial is expected to start next March and last for several days, possibly as many as seven.
“Part of the reason the hearing and trial is so far off is that it’s a seven-day trial and it’s harder to find trial time,” said Lynal Doerksen, Bagri’s defence lawyer. “The other part of it is that cases are already backed up in the courts.”
Mr. Bagri requires a Punjabi translator, which only makes it harder to find court dates, said Mr. Doerksen. Another complicating factor is that provincial court in Invermere usually only takes place one day at a time.
The trial will run from March 17th through March 20th, 2014 and could possibly spill over to April 28th and April 29th of next year.
Mr. Bagri was driving his unloaded flatdeck B-train commercial tractor trailer southbound on Highway 93 through Kootenay National Park on July 22nd, 2011. Near Olive Lake, Mr. Bagri lost control of his vehicle, which crossed the highway’s centerline and jackknifed directly into the path of a northbound Dodge campervan towing a Suzuki SUV.
In the camper was a family of four — Robert Howard, 48, his wife Ana-Maria Dias, 50, and their two children Veronica, 9, and Samantha, 11 — from Palo Alto, California on vacation in B.C. The tractor trailer smashed into the camper and SUV, pinning the two smaller vehicles against the highway barrier, which ignited all three vehicles and trapped the family inside the blazing camper.
All four died in the fire. Mr. Bagri has pleaded not guilty to all charges. His next appearance in court will be at the February 10th, 2014, confirmation hearing.