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

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 »