A man has been convicted in a hit-and-run that killed another man in Surrey more than four years ago.
Jagjit Singh Basra was charged with failing to stop his vehicle or offer assistance in a crash that resulted in the death of Shamus Travis William MacKay.
According to a May 29 Supreme Court judgment posted online this week,
Basra and his girlfriend Parveen Bains had been on a date on Sept. 4, 2010 and were driving home through Surrey when they heard a loud thud and saw a large hole in the windshield.
Basra was driving and it was Bains’ car. They both testified at trial that they did not see what hit the car, but speculated someone had thrown a rock.
In actuality, MacKay had been hit while walking and his body had been thrown into a ditch. He was spotted by a passenger in a passing vehicle, who pulled MacKay’s body out of the ditch and called 911. He died of blunt force trauma to the head.
Basra and Bains kept driving down Fraser Highway, stopping shortly after the collision to switch seats. Basra, court documents reveal, had a suspended licence at the time, but was not speeding or impaired.
The couple continued driving before stopping again, first calling a relative and then an emergency windshield repair service. They arranged to meet a repairman in the morning and went to Basra’s home for the night.
Basra testified that in the morning, he awoke to news on his clock radio that a pedestrian had been killed near Fraser Highway and 168 Street. He met the repairman and at some point, called a lawyer, who contacted police to report the collision on Basra’s behalf.
Crown prosecutors alleged Basra was “wilfully blind” to the fact the vehicle he drove was in an accident with MacKay.
In his decision, Justice Frits Verhoeven said he didn’t buy Basra’s testimony that he had no idea what he had hit.
“I find that Mr. Basra was well-aware of the possibility that the accident had involved a collision with a person, but chose not to investigate or inquire, in order to avoid finding out what he did not want to find out,” Verhoeven said, adding the circumstances required Basra to “at least” determine what he had hit.
“He did not do so because he did not want to learn the truth.”
Basra has yet to be sentenced. His next court date is Sept. 11.