Surrey man who drove car into Royal Columbian Hospital given 2-year sentence

Published: March 14, 2014

The pickup that crashed through the front doors of Royal Columbian Hospital.Submitted photo/Twitter/ @arsonrider

JENNIFER SALTMAN
VANCOUVER DESI

When Ranjit Singh Sandhu purposely drove his truck into the entrance of Royal Columbian Hospital in September 2012, it was the act of a deeply disturbed man, according to his lawyer.

“What this was, I submit, was a cry for help from … a man who was suffering from depression and long-standing alcohol abuse,” Nicholas Preovolos said during a sentencing hearing Friday in B.C. provincial court in New Westminster.

Sandhu, 29, was convicted last month of impaired driving, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and mischief endangering life.

Judge Daniel Steinberg sentenced Sandhu on Friday to two years in prison.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 9, 2012 Sandhu went to the emergency department at Royal Columbian upset and mildly rude and perhaps, according to a witness, under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He had a brief interaction with the clerk and then left.

Sandhu returned 15 minutes later and was referred to triage, where he was quiet and apologetic to the nurse. He left the hospital again without telling anyone why he was there.

Half an hour later, Sandhu drove his pickup through the hospital parking lot at a high rate of speed and straight into the entrance. He went through two sets of doors and didn’t stop until he crashed into a wall in the emergency department.

Sandhu was initially unresponsive and was removed from the truck. It was later found that he was extremely intoxicated — his blood-alcohol level was about 2 1/2 times the legal limit.

Miraculously, only one staff member suffered minor injuries from flying glass.

Steinberg found that although alcohol and depression or a lack of impulse control led to the incident, Sandhu did not have a momentary lapse in judgment.

“This was in no way accidental,” Steinberg said. “A hospital is a place where sick, disabled people go for help. A hospital is a busy place. The accused would have known that.”

Steinberg said the sentence he imposed had to indicate to the public that the court considered Sandhu’s offence extremely serious.

The two-year sentence includes a two-year driving prohibition that will commence when Sandhu is released from prison, a $1,250 fine and he has been ordered to pay for the more than $63,000 in damage he caused to the hospital.

Sandhu’s sentence will run concurrent to a three-year term he is already serving.

In March 2013 Sandhu was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to unauthorized possession of a firearm and pointing a firearm. Five other weapons-related charges were stayed.

The charges related to an incident at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel on Oct. 15, 2012, when Sandhu, who was on bail for the hospital incident, went to the hotel armed with a 9-mm handgun. There was a tense, hours-long standoff that ended with Sandhu’s surrender.

According to Preovolos, it was attempted suicide by cop and Sandhu was lucky he wasn’t killed.

Before Sandhu left the courtroom, Steinberg advised him to take control of his life.

“Hiding behind the bottle conceals and enhances your problems,” he said.

jensaltman@theprovince.com
twitter.com/jensaltman

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,




Featured

football-100year journey

B.C.’s South Asian pioneer Ranjit Mattu mentored many football stars

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Even as a child, Ranjit Mattu knew he had game. From his first play on the field of Mount Pleasant Elementary,…
Continue Reading »

pioneers

Dharm Singh Gill changed the way Sikhs were regarded for wearing turbans at work

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Little did Dharm Singh Gill realize that an act of heroism would change the way Sikhs were regarded for wearing their…
Continue Reading »

Jacqui Feldman shows off a recovering Sugar, her 13-year-old poodle that Terra Nova vet Dr. Javaid Chaudhry, rear, helped save after operating to remove a tumour. Feldman, who is battling cancer herself, fell on hard times and couldn’t afford to pay the $3,000-plus for Sugar’s procedure.  Alan Campbell/Richmond News

Richmond veterinarian steps up to save cancer sufferer’s dying dog

ALAN CAMPBELL RICHMOND NEWS Richmond’s Jacqui Feldman, who’s suffering from terminal cancer, is crediting a local veterinarian with saving her life. It was a few weeks ago…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

A look at Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s first cabinet

THE CANADIAN PRESS EDMONTON — A look at Alberta’s NDP cabinet sworn in Sunday: Rachel Notley (Edmonton Strathcona) Premier, minister of intergovernmental affairs. Notley, 51,…
Continue Reading »

Japan-Canada trade talks stalled with no meetings in sight

By Mike Blanchfield THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — Trade talks have stalled between Canada and Japan — one of the Harper government’s priority countries for…
Continue Reading »

football-100year journey

B.C.’s South Asian pioneer Ranjit Mattu mentored many football stars

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Even as a child, Ranjit Mattu knew he had game. From his first play on the field of Mount Pleasant Elementary,…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

weight-loss

Do we need to exercise more or eat less?

JILL BARKER MONTREAL GAZETTE A battle is waging in the scientific journals between several prominent health and fitness experts. In one corner are physicians Aseem Malhotra,…
Continue Reading »

exam scores

Identical twins’ mark sheets almost as identical and the story of a courageous young achiever

HINDUSTAN TIMES AND VANCOUVER DESI They are identical twins and, interestingly, even their mark sheets look almost the same. Ranchi twins Aporupa and Anorupa Chattopadhyay …
Continue Reading »

India-pharma-under scanner

U.S. lawsuit puts generic drug imports from India under scanner

IANS Washington – A U.S. class action lawsuit accusing India’s Ranbaxy of large-scale deception on its generic drug applications puts a question mark on drug…
Continue Reading »

100 year journey

Apart from the overwhelming cold, Sucha Singh Bagri has fond memories of his first few days in B.C.

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Sucha Singh Bagri arrived in Canada with his father Harnam Singh Bagri on Feb 2, 1935, on the Empress of Russia,…
Continue Reading »

swimsuits

Who wants to be a Princess? Beauty pageant contestants undergo rigorous training

VANCOUVER DESI Divas aspiring to become Indian Princesses are undergoing rigorous training before the grand finale of the beauty pageant in Mumbai. Indian princess pageant 2015 ◄…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Items of clothing are displayed in room 331 of the Martinez Hotel, where Parisian fashion house Elie Saab provides sartorial services to celebrities attending the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 21, 2015. During the Cannes Film Festival, room 331 is radically transformed into a red carpet emergency room - where celebrities like Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman can rush to if they pop out of a dress, or a zipper breaks. Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

‘Nip slips’ and broken zippers: Red carpet Emergency Room for Cannes wardrobe malfunctions always full of drama

THOMAS ADAMSON THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CANNES, France – For most of the year, room 331 of the Martinez Hotel is just your run-of-the mill luxury…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai doesn’t leave her daughter alone even for a night

HINDUSTAN TIMES Apart from walking the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is also screening footage from her upcoming film, Jazbaa. The first…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Photos: Aishwarya Rai an absolute stunner at Cannes 2015 (updated)

VANCOUVER DESI Former beauty queen Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been a Cannes regular for over a decade now. But this year marks her comeback to the…
Continue Reading »