Photo by Tom Zytaruk

Surrey driver who killed two women was doing 167 km/h when he lost control

Nicolas Karvouniaris, 25, has lengthy list of traffic violation charges

A Surrey man with a lengthy record for bad driving heard from the families of two women he killed, and another he seriously injured, after his vehicle hit their’s head-on after he lost control while doing 167 km/h down 88th Avenue during a rain storm.

More than 100 people attended 25-year-old Nicolas Karvouniaris’s sentencing hearing in Surrey provincial court on Thursday, with judge Patricia Stark presiding. She reserved her decision to Sept. 26, after hearing heartbreaking victim-impact statements.

Karvouniaris pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving causing death and one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm in May.

Sarah Dhillon, 50, and Paige Nagata, 19, both of Abbotsford, died as a result of their injuries in the Nov. 4, 2018 crash that also injured Olivia Kilian, 22.

The crash happened at 88th Avenue, near 134th Street, when Karvouniaris’ Jeep Cherokee during extremely heavy rain conditions leapt a centre median and smashed head-on into Dhillon’s Ford Escape.

According to court records, prior to this fatal crash Karvouniaris had a lengthy list of traffic violation charges for speeding in a playground in Surrey, speeding in Vancouver, Whistler and Langley, driving while using an electronic device in Vancouver, entering an intersection on a red light in Vancouver, and violating a restriction on his driver’s licence in Surrey.

“The question that screams to be answered is how many times does the accused need to be told to stop speeding,” Crown prosecutor Winston Sayson said.

Sayson argued for a sentence of 22 to 24 months in prison, less one day, which would mean provincial and not federal time, to be served concurrently on all three counts, to be followed by 18 to 24 months’ probation. Defence lawyer Marvin Stern argued for a sentence of one year to 15 months.

Dhillon, an Abbotsford nurse, wife and mother of three boys was behind the wheel of the Ford Escape. She died instantly of multiple and catastrophic blunt-force injuries while Nagata died later in hospital of blunt force injuries.

Kilian, whose victim impact statement was read in court by her mother, told the judge her “whole self” had been taken away by the crash. Ironically, she will never drive again because of eye damage from the crash. She told the court she lives in pain. She woke up one month after the crash, in hospital, with all kinds of tubes in her, and not knowing why. She suffered from three strokes, her liver was “shredded,” her spleen had to be removed, and she sustained brain damage and broken bones. “At one point I flat-lined.”

The court heard Karvouniaris was left with small scrapes and redness on his right wrist.

Sayson said the young man has “demonstrated significant remorse and sorrow for the carnage he caused.”

Karvouniaris was literally held captive audience to a string of emotionally draining victim impact statements from the family members of his victims. Nagata’s mom Marlene told the court she’s “so lonely” without her daughter, and her sister Brooke said the loss of her sibling “has left a massive void in me.”

Shaun Demmitt, Dhillon’s only brother, flew in from Australia to deliver his victim impact statement in court. “Sarah’s death torments me endlessly,” he told the judge. “I am angry beyond words and my sorrow and anguish are unfathomable.”

Troy Demmitt, her father, said there are “no words to soothe the anger I feel,” and Dhillon’s mom Julie said she’d give the world just to hear her daughter say, once again, “Hi mom, it’s me.”

Paul Dhillon, an Abbotsford Police officer with 29 years service, has seen the aftermath of many a fatal crash while on duty. He spoke of seeing his own wife’s lifeless body covered with a yellow blanket.

“I don’t expect anything you’re going to do is going to bring me comfort,” he told the judge.

“I adored her,” he said of his wife. “I live with devastation.”

homelessphoto

Sarah Dhillon

homelessphoto

Paige Nagata



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Guildford’s Winter Festival raises nearly $7K for Surrey Memorial Hospital

Funds raised through two weekends of skate rentals, on-site donations

Woman in Fraser Health region confirmed as sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Court awards Surrey Costco shopping cart collector $583K after car pins him

Kurtis Ryan Burdeniuk, 22, was retrieving carts when driver backed into him in the parking lot, pinning him

Royal Canadian circus coming back to Cloverdale

June dates for rebranded circus in year of expansion into U.S.

Committee that replaced Surrey’s Public Safety Committee seven months ago has never met

Surrey mayor dissolved safety committee in July 2019, replaced it with Interim Police Transition Advisory Committee

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

‘Chain reaction pile up’ closes southbound traffic on Coquihalla Highway

Black Press Media has reached out to RCMP, paramedics for details

Exploding enrolment prompts opening of second TWU campus in Richmond

Langley’s faith-based Trinity Western University opens a second campus in Richmond

Fraser Valley seniors’ home residents go without meds for a night due to staff shortage

Residents speak out about staff shortages that are leading to serious safety concerns

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Most Read