Scholarships set up in memory of Surrey grandpa killed in traffic crash

Pritam Singh Benning, 83, died after a car crashed into him at a Newton bus stop on Sept. 9, 2009

The family of an elderly Surrey man who died in 2009 after a sportscar smashed into the bus shelter he was sitting at has set up two scholarships in his memory.

Pritam Singh Benning, 83, died in hospital after a Corvette crashed into the bus stop at 72nd Avenue and 128th Street on Sept. 9, 2009, crushing his legs. The driver was released on full parole after serving four months in prison. The crash happened at rush hour, in heavy traffic when a lot of pedestrians were around.

His grandson Kyle Benning, who is a television reporter in Saskatoon, said while his family’s lives changed at that bus bench, they remain close and “tight-knit.”

Benning said 19 of Pritam’s grandchildren have set up two scholarships – one for $500 at BCIT, where the grandfather worked as a janitor and the reporter did his schooling – and the other for $1,000 through Immigrant Services Society BC, which supports newcomers to this province. The latter scholarship is in the name of both Pritam and Benning’s late grandmother, Beant Kaur Benning.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to do something in his name,” Benning said. “We decided this was one way we could do it, by offering a scholarship. It’s just sort of the Canadian immigrant dream to go from the first generation, working hard, blue-collar job to the next generations sort of doing better and better and then eventually one of us graduating from that university.”

Benning said his grandfather was “definitely a very caring sort.

“He was definitely someone who offered a lot of great advice. Someone who obviously worked very hard, which is why we chose to honour him.”

homelessphoto

Submitted family photo of Pritam Singh Benning holding Kyle when he was a little boy



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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