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Surrey driver convicted of leaving crash, knowing people were injured, loses appeal

Drivers of other vehicles were injured, with driver of flipped car sustaining most serious injuries
Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

A Surrey driver found guilty of leaving the scene of a traffic crash, while knowing people had been injured, has lost an appeal of his conviction.

Justice Susan Griffin, of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia, upheld a lower court’s decision while noting the case against Amandeep Singh Kooner was circumstantial as no one saw the driver at the moment of collision.

A Surrey provincial court judge found he was driving a truck on April 14, 2017 that at about 11 p.m. rear-ended an SUV on Fraser Highway, sending it into oncoming traffic.

“The propelled vehicle caused a head-on collision with another vehicle which flipped over onto its roof,” Griffin noted, recalling the trial judge’s findings. “Mr. Kooner carried on driving, taking a right turn at the nearby intersection and then pulling over at an angle onto the side of the road. He got out of the truck and then went into the woods. A police dog tracked him down, and he was found in possession of a key to the truck.”

The drivers of the other vehicles were injured, with the driver of the car that flipped sustaining most serious injuries.

Kooner appealed his conviction arguing there is no sufficient evidence to establish he was the driver and, even if he were, that he knew the other drivers suffered bodily harm. But Griffin decided the judge’s conclusion that he was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt Kooner was the driver was “well supported by the evidence.”

As for whether Kooner knew people had been injured, Griffin noted in her Jan. 11 reasons for judgment, “It is common sense and common experience that a motor vehicle impact with this degree of force leads to injury.”

She dismissed the appeal, with Justices Elizabeth Bennett and Christopher Grauer agreeing with her decision.

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About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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