Driver found guilty of crashing car into great grandfather waiting for the bus, taking his life

Published: November 30, 2012

Gurjit Singh Dhillon (centre) has been found guilty of dangerous driving that caused the death of an 83-year-old great grandfather who was waiting for a bus in Surrey three years ago. Ric Ernst/PNG files

SAM COOPER
VANCOUVER DESI

A 28-year-old Surrey man was found guilty of dangerous driving causing the death of an 83-year-old great-grandfather in Surrey three years ago.
Friday in Surrey Provincial court Judge James Jardine said Gurjit Singh Dhillon’s “intentional risk taking”caused the black Corvette he was driving to spin out of control at the busy intersection of 128th Street and 72nd Avenue in Surrey, and smash into a bus stop, killing Pritam Singh Benning.

Dhillon had been facing a street racing charge which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, but it was dropped in late August because of inconsistencies in witness testimony. The lesser charge that Dhillon was found guilty of carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison, however case law suggests a sentence ranging from about two to five years will be considered in this case.

Jardine said on Sept. 17, 2009 during rush hour, Dhillon had been driving his brother’s Corvette on 128th Street. He was following a yellow Corvette at high speeds, when the two came to a stop at the intersection, with Dhillon ahead. There were many pedestrians around and lots of traffic, Jardine said, and it was a sunny day with dry road conditions. At the green light Dhillon was in the left-hand lane, second in line, and he rapidly accelerated around the Honda Accord in front of him as he attempted to switch lanes in an apparent attempt to get clear of traffic, Jardine said.
Within seconds he started to spin, and the black Corvette clipped the Honda Accord and started to spin across the road, flying over a curb and smashing into the bus stop bench where Benning was sitting.
Benning was thrown into the air and his legs were crushed. He was taken to Royal Columbian Hospital, where he died five days later.

“I hit a person … something happened to my car … it just went out of control,” Dhillon said in a 911 call.

The defence suggested that a brake failure caused the fatal crash, and argued that police’s investigation into the crash was full of holes.

Jardine said the investigation wasn’t perfect, but there was plenty of evidence to prove Dhillon’s risk taking and carelessness caused the crash, not a mechanical failure.
“It’s a busy suburban intersection … this is a muscle car. This was a Corvette, it was flashy, it was loud, it was very quick,” Jardine said. “I find he drove his brother’s Corvette in that intersection in a dangerous manner without regard for the risk it posed.”

In court there were sighs of relief from the victim’s supporters at the verdict. Outside court Benning’s son Manjit told The Province he hopes the ruling sends a message to drivers in the Lower Mainland.

“My dad is gone, and we can’t bring him back, but we wanted consequences in this case,” Manjit said. “(Dhillon) took a human life, for what? For showing off? It doesn’t make sense. If anyone should have passed away, it should have been him.”
Dhillon, dressed in a gray suit with a tattoo visible on his neck, was stoic as the judge told him he was guilty. Dhillon left court with supporters and family, making no comment.
Sentencing is expected on March 27, 2013.

 


Tags:





Featured

Royal Wedding

Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim and his wife Kendra Salwa Spears expecting their first child

VANCOUVER DESI The Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim and his wife Princess Salwa (Kendra Salwa Spears) are expecting their first child, the spiritual leader…
Continue Reading »

CIVIC ELECTIONS

Surrey mayoral candidates share city visions at first meeting

AMY REID VANCOUVER DESI SURREY — Surrey mayoral candidates met for the city’s first all-candidates meeting Thursday night at SFU. Six of the seven candidates…
Continue Reading »

OTTAWA

Surrey MP Nina Grewal’s account of the shootout in Ottawa

NINA GREWAL SPECIAL TO IANS  When Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was speaking at about 9.30 a.m. Wednesday in a caucus room of parliament, we…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

CIVIC ELECTIONS

Surrey mayoral candidates share city visions at first meeting

AMY REID VANCOUVER DESI SURREY — Surrey mayoral candidates met for the city’s first all-candidates meeting Thursday night at SFU. Six of the seven candidates…
Continue Reading »

OTTAWA

Surrey MP Nina Grewal’s account of the shootout in Ottawa

NINA GREWAL SPECIAL TO IANS  When Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was speaking at about 9.30 a.m. Wednesday in a caucus room of parliament, we…
Continue Reading »

Parliament hill

Editorial Exchange: Rational responses needed

NEIL GODBOUT PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN, THE CANADIAN PRESS Canada’s innocence should have ended in 1970 with the FLQ crisis but it didn’t. It should have been…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

student dead

Two dead, including gunman, in school shooting north of Seattle

DOUG ESSER THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MARYSVILLE, Wash. — A student opened fire in a high school cafeteria north of Seattle on Friday, killing at least…
Continue Reading »

attack on Parliament Hill

Ottawa shooter kicked out of Burnaby mosque two years ago

Zehaf-Bibeau was asked to leave the mosque, because he had “gotten a hold of keys and stuff from the mosque, and when he got out…
Continue Reading »

labour laws violation

U.S. company penalized for mistreatment of Indian employees working 122 hours in a week

MICHAEL LIEDTKE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SAN FRANCISCO – A Silicon Valley company is paying more than $43,000 in back wages and penalties after labour regulators…
Continue Reading »

DESI-SOCCER

Surrey soccer captain played the U-18 national club championship using only one foot

KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW SOUTH SURREY – Kyle Sohi’s perseverance and performance in the 2014 Sport Chek National Club Championships U-18 Cup Final might go…
Continue Reading »

SURREY-FIELD HOCKEY

Barinder Rasode announces plan to develop field hockey pitch in Surrey

Third field at Tamanawis Park would cost approximately $3 million KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW NEWTON – Barinder Rasode and the One Surrey team were at…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Stan Lee-Bollywood

Stan Lee plans Bollywood film on his first Indian superhero

VANCOUVER DESI Stan Lee, the legendary ‘Spiderman’ creator, is reportedly planning his Bollywood entry with a film on his Indian superhero character ‘Chakra: the Invincible’….
Continue Reading »

KANGANA RANAUT

Even my parents think I am weird, says Bollywood ‘Queen’ Kangana Ranaut

HINDUSTAN TIMES Kangana Ranaut has always made unconventional choices, be it her movies or the way she dresses. And the actor says she’s happy the…
Continue Reading »

Happy New Year-Bollywood

Happy New Year: Mandatory ‘formula’ and all those old Bollywood references

HINDUSTAN TIMES Film: Happy New Year Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood, Vivaan Shah, Jackie Shroff Director: Farah Khan…
Continue Reading »