Trial set for semi-driver in West Kelowna crash that killed one, injured another

Click to play video: 'Man dies after semi plows into SUV in West Kelowna' Man dies after semi plows into SUV in West Kelowna
WATCH: (June 15, 2019) RCMP said one man was killed and another seriously injured in a West Kelowna crash involving a semi. – Jun 15, 2019

Was Harvinder Singh Toor driving a semi dangerously when the rig crashed into a fully-stopped SUV that was apparently waiting at a red light at Highway 97 and Bartley Road on June 14, 2019?

That is the question a B.C. Provincial Court judge will have to answer when Toor’s trial takes place in Kelowna in October.

RCMP spent the year after the fatal crash collecting evidence, not just from the scene of the horrific collision but for kilometres before the semi reached the intersection.

Sgt. Bryce Petersen, commander of the Kelowna RCMP Integrated Road Safety Unit, said video surveillance was obtained from areas along Highway 97 to help support their recommendation of charges of dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

Read more: ‘Humboldt-style’ fatal crash in West Kelowna results in charges more than a year later

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Gilles Laferriere suffered multiple broken bones during the crash.

The then-owner of Gal’s Designated Driving Service was in the passenger seat and was said to have been coming home from dropping off a client’s vehicle.

Gilles Laferriere, pictured here in 2017, with one of his designated driver vehicles. Courtesy: Gilles Laferriere/ Facebook

Laferriere, who has since sold the company, continues to recover at home.

He says he has no recollection of the crash and he only recalls a man named “Carlos” who died behind the wheel of the SUV.

Court records indicate a man named Kaarlo Siirila was killed in the crash.

“I’m still recovering. Getting better and better all the time,” Laferriere told Global News. “Some days are real bad. Some days are real good.”

“I wish my memory was better.”

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Read more: ‘Suspicious’ early morning grass fire handled by Kelowna Fire Department

Toor, the now 32-year-old semi-driver, was uninjured and remained at the scene to cooperate with police.

The vehicle in which Laferriere and Siirila were allegedly stopped at the red light at 2 a.m., was pushed about 100 metres down the road, its back end crushed up to the front seats, according to this reporter who attended the scene alongside first responders.

Debris filled the four-lane highway beginning at the white line of the southbound lanes on Highway 97 at Bartley Road.

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Petersen called the incident a ‘Humboldt-style’ crash, referring to the semi-truck that struck the Humboldt Broncos’ team bus in Saskatchewan on April 6, 2018, killing 16 and injuring 13.

Five days have been set aside for the trial beginning Oct. 25.

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