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Former Uber driver sentenced for role in fatal Toronto crash

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WATCH ABOVE: As Catherine McDonald reports, Abdihared Bisha-Mussa was given a $1,000 fine, a year-long driving ban and two years of probation – Dec 4, 2018

A former Uber driver who pleaded guilty to careless driving in connection with a crash that left 28-year-old Nicholas Cameron dead has been fined $1,000 and sentenced to a year-long driving ban.

Abdihared Bishar-Mussa appeared in a Toronto court on Tuesday. As part of his sentence, he will be placed on probation for two years and will need to complete 50 hours of community service.

“I have struggled to structure a meaningful sentence. One that reflects your level of moral blameworthiness, and at the same time reflects the gravity of the offence,” Justice Paul Robertson told the court while delivering his sentence.

“There will be no agreement the sentence I’m about to impose is adequate. No sentence can restore a life.”

Robertson acknowledged Bishar-Mussa has no driving record nor criminal record.

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“I have considered the nature of his careless acts and although not the worst example of careless driving, nevertheless, careless due to a series of bad decisions.”

Robertson said Bishar-Mussa was driving a commercial vehicle at the time, and by acceptance of that employment, he accepted the duty of care to his passengers and yet he had very little understanding of the road network of the City. It was Bishar-Mussa’s second day on the job.

READ MORE: Uber driver pleads guilty to careless driving in fatal Toronto crash

On March 21 at around 3:30 a.m., Cameron was critically injured when he and his girlfriend, Monika Traikov, were on their way to Toronto Pearson International Airport. The Uber they were travelling in was rear-ended on the westbound lanes of the Gardiner Expressway, near Royal York Road.

According to an agreed statement of facts, Mussa’s phone and GPS fell from the mount onto the floor of his 2012 Hyundai Sonata. Mussa pulled his vehicle over, partially in a live lane of traffic, and put the phone back on the mount.

Almost immediately after he put his car into motion, the Uber was struck by a BMW — sending the car Cameron and Traikov were travelling in across four lanes of traffic and crashing into the median several hundred metres away. Cameron suffered a catastrophic neck injury. He died in hospital the following day, having never regained consciousness.

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WATCH: Mother of man killed in Uber calling for stricter bylaws for ridesharing companies

Click to play video: 'Mother of man killed in Uber calling for stricter bylaws for ridesharing companies' Mother of man killed in Uber calling for stricter bylaws for ridesharing companies
Mother of man killed in Uber calling for stricter bylaws for ridesharing companies – Sep 19, 2018

Bishar-Mussa, 23, was originally charged with criminal negligence and dangerous driving causing death, but the Crown accepted the lesser plea of careless driving, realizing there was no reasonable prospect of a conviction on the more serious charges.

Cameron’s mother, brother and brother-in-law left court on Tuesday still grieving for the 28-year-old. They are saddened about the senseless death of the web developer, who would have celebrated his 29th birthday on Monday.

“It’s not a happy day. Nick is still gone. Yesterday was Nick’s birthday, or what would have been Nick’s birthday, and so I had a group of his friends around the table telling stories and we’re still sad,” Cheryl Hawkes, Cameron’s mother, said.

READ MORE: Girlfriend and brother of Toronto man killed in Uber calling for safety training for drivers

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Hawkes said she and her family will continue their fight to have Uber drivers receive mandated safety training.

“Ride-share drivers should be treated like cab drivers, because that’s what they’re doing,” she said.

“They’re taking money from the public to drive people to places safely, and why they’re accepted and why you have to play roulette with your life getting into one is absolutely wrong.”

— With files from Nick Westoll

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