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“The situation is serious and unacceptable, because the risk was easily avoidable,” ruled judge Yanick Laramée.

Truck driver Jagmeet Grewal found guilty of killing four people

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Truck driver Jagmeet Grewal was accused of having caused the death of four people in the summer of 2019 by negligently causing a pileup on Highway 440 in Laval.


Truck driver Jagmeet Grewal was found guilty of causing the criminally negligent deaths of four people during a monster highway pileup 440, in Laval, in August 2019.

In her decision, Judge Yanick Laramée affirmed that a professional truck driver would have avoided traffic, slowed down or changed lanes, and that the vehicles in the flow of traffic were visible. These are worrying elements which show the lack of consideration for the lives of several people, she added.

Suffering from type 2 diabetes, the accused hid this health problem, the judge said, and did not treat him as he should have; again, a lack of consideration for the lives of others, she said.

According to magistrate, a reasonable trucker would not have driven in these circumstances.

The situation is serious and unacceptable, because the risk was easily avoidable, she ruled. Mr. Grewal lied to get hired and put his safety and that of others at risk, added Judge Laramée.

Moreover, Mr. Grewal should not have been on the road that day, because in 2014, the SAAQ had permanently withdrawn his heavy vehicle driving license. However, communication problems at the SAAQ resulted in his driving license being returned a few years later.

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He has since received financial compensation from the SAAQ because that he couldn't drive. The accused therefore knew very well that his file was not in order, the court underlined.

He was deemed incapable of driving a heavy vehicle by the SAAQ. The fact that he never declared that he had diabetes, the fact that he lied to his employer […], all of these elements made the judge conclude that her conduct was likely deliberate.

A quote from Mr. Simon Blais, prosecutor for criminal and penal prosecutions

Several family members and loved ones of the victims of the pileup attended the hearing. One of them, Jean-Pierre Girard, said he was very happy with the Court's decision.

I'm a trucker myself. I’ve been driving [trucks] for 35 years. You have to be fit at all times, in all situations. I am frustrated that he could have had this license, he added.

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Jean- Pierre Girard, uncle of one of the victims of the August 5, 2019 pileup, does not understand how the SAAQ was able to return his license to Jagmeet Grewal.

He should be [sentenced] for life. […] This gentleman should never have been on the road. I don't know how it is that the SAAQ was able to give a license to this individual.

A quote from Jean-Pierre Girard, uncle of one of the victims of the collision

Comments on the sentencing of Jagmeet Grewal are expected to take place in May.

The 58-year-old truck driver was arrested in the summer of 2020 to face a series of charges related to a serious traffic accident that occurred in August 2019 on Highway 440, in Laval, in which the truck driver was involved.

Four people were killed and 15 others injured in the pileup caused by the accused's truck, which hit a vehicle stopped on the road near a junction of Highway 440. Nine vehicles in all, including two heavy goods vehicles, were involved in a series of successive collisions which was followed by a huge fire.

Suspected by Sûreté du Québec investigators of having caused this pileup through criminal negligence, Jagmeet Grewal was charged at the Laval courthouse with dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing injury. He faced eight charges in total.

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The series of collisions had caused a huge fire on the roadway.

According to witnesses, the truck driver never braked or attempted to slow down before hitting the first car stopped by slowing traffic approaching the Highway 15 interchange, a very busy place where a long line of vehicles regularly forms on the expressway.

Images captured by the camera of a motorist who witnessed the accident also convinced SQ investigators that the truck driver was not paying attention during the accident.

In an affidavit published around ten days after the events, the police stated that the hands of the driver of the heavy goods vehicle were not visible on the steering wheel and that he had not braked even though there were vehicles stopped in front of him.

Questioned by the police, the driver denied having had a cell phone in his hands while driving. He did not respond when asked why he did not brake.

This deadly accident had echoes as far as Quebec, where the Minister of Transport at the time, François Bonnardel, announced a series of immediate measures, including a rearrangement of the route, to secure traffic in this sector considered problematic.

The following summer, in July 2020, the minister finally announced the construction of an elevated ramp to directly connect Highway 440 West to Highway 15 North so that motorists no longer have to use the 440 service road to access Highway 15. This solution is supposed to reduce the risk of backups of traffic on the expressway in this sector.

With information from Marie Isabelle Rochon

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116