Judge acquits Calgary man who had seizure, killed siblings in 2017 fatal crash
A Calgary man has been found not guilty of two counts of criminal negligence causing death in a crash that killed a brother and sister Aug. 2, 2017, in southeast Calgary.
James Farkas was driving a pickup truck that slammed into a car as it left a southeast Superstore parking lot.
Ritvik Bale, 21, and his sister Rashmi Bale, 24, were both killed as a result of the crash.
Provincial Court Judge Mark Tyndale found Farkas was not medically unfit to drive on the day of the crash.
Tyndale addressed the family of the two victims before reading his decision.
WATCH: Footage from Global1 chopper of a fatal vehicle collision in southeast Calgary.
“I have five children and a grandson; I know you have gone through unimaginable pain and loss,” Tyndale said. “I cannot heal your pain. Nothing I can do can bring back your Ritvik or Rashmi.”
Ritvik, who had been driving the red sedan, was declared dead at the scene. His sister, who was a passenger in the car, was taken to hospital and later died from her injuries.
Tyndale said there was no reason to believe Farkas was not taking his medication and had been seizure-free for over two years. Tyndale added Farkas had been avoiding known triggers.
Court head Farkas was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2007 and could have seizures without warning, resulting in complete loss of his body’s motor functions.
Speaking to reporters outside of court, Farkas’ lawyer Curtis Mennie said that despite the acquittal, Farkas is still feeling the ramifications of the tragedy.
“By no means was he ecstatic and happy. This was a tragic event that unfortunately this ended in the deaths of two young adults,” he said. “This was very traumatic for him. He has not been able to move past it. He’s still seeking counselling for it.”
Ravi Bale, the father of the two victims, said his family is disappointed with the verdict.
“We are really disappointed as parents,” he said. “We’re feeling a little bit hopeless now. We would like to discuss with Crown prosecution and the police whether there’s any possibility of hope for an appeal.”
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