BY JENNIFER SALTMAN-The Province
Surrey -A Surrey, B.C., truck driver has been charged in connection with a fiery crash that killed one person and injured numerous others on an Ohio highway last month.
Rahmatkarn Singh Dhillon, 24, is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault and a traffic violation.
On the afternoon of July 31, Ohio State Highway Patrol responded to a six-vehicle crash on Interstate 76 (also called the Ohio Turnpike) in Austintown Township.
According to a police news release, all vehicles involved were travelling west on the turnpike when the crash happened. Three vehicles in the left lane had slowed and two in the right had stopped due to a lane closure, but a Volvo tractor-trailer unit driven by Dhillon apparently failed to stop and drove down the middle of both lanes, striking three vehicles — one of which hit a fourth — and then plowing into a Dodge Caravan.
The Caravan, which had two adults and two children inside, was pinned against the right side bridge wall by the trailer and caught fire. The trailer also caught fire.
According to reports, bystanders helped remove the driver of the minivan, Michael Gardner, and his children from the vehicle. His wife, 44-year-old Stacy Gardner, was trapped in the rear of the van and died at the scene.
Eight people were injured, including Michael Gardner and his children. Dhillon and two others were uninjured.
On Aug. 3, bond for Dhillon was set at $150,000 cash or surety. According to court records, that bond has not yet been posted.
The case has been bound over to the court of common pleas in Mahoning County, Ohio, to await the action of the grand jury.
According to Facebook, Dhillon received his Class 1 driver’s licence in January.
A person named Rahmatkarn Dhillon who is also 24 years old has had three violation tickets in the past two years, according to online court records.
On April 6, 2013, he was issued a ticket in Richmond for failing to wear or improperly wearing a seatbelt.
He was also ticketed in September 2014 for speeding and passing on the right in Hope.