TORONTO, Ont. – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) announced the charges in three separate fatal collisions involving commercial trucks this morning at a news conference.
All three collisions occurred this summer on Ontario highways and claimed the lives of six people.
The first collision occurred on July 27 on Highway 48 in Georgina, Ont. The second in Chatham-Kent on Highway 401 on July 30, and the third near Port Hope on August 3, also on Highway 401.
Thirty-one-year-old Scarborough resident, Jatheesen Krishnamoorthy was charged in the Georgina, Ont. accident with: two counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, two counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm , and one count of dangerous driving.
Manjit Parmar, 52, of Brampton, Ont., was charged in the Chatham-Kent collision with: two counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and three counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle casing bodily harm.
Baljinder Singth, 56, also of Brampton, Ont. was charged in Port Hope collision with two counts of dangerous driving causing death and two counts causing death by criminal negligence.
OPP commissioner Vince Hawkes said at the press conference that all three were caused by trucks slamming into slowed or stopped traffic, creating a domino effect, with several fatalities.
“This is driver inattention at its worst and the most tragic reminder in recent history of the tremendous cost to innocent men, women and children when transport truck drivers are not paying full attention to the road or his fatigue,” Hawkes said.“Many of our officers assigned to highway patrol will tell you they see numerous commercial truck that are being driven safely. And we commend those that are doing their part in keeping our roads safe. But there are those who are not part of that group of safe drivers. And it’s these people who pose serious risks to our road and have caused these victims to be here today.”
To help reduce these collisions, Hawkes talked about the OPP’s Commercial Motor Vehicle Mitigation Strategy which aims to reduce the number of transport truck collisions on OPP-patrolled highways. The system will work by working with transportation partners, like the MTO to attain information on how these collisions occur and how these can be reduced.
He added that the OPP will be pursuing fatal collisions harder than before and hold at-fault drivers accountable “to the full extent of the law.”
“But we also need a firm commitment to CMV-drivers as they have a bigger role to play than anybody else,” Hawkes said. “There is zero room for error, carelessness, negligence or poor driving behavior of any kind.”