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George Massey Tunnel Accident: Man Gets Nearly Two Years in Jail

George Massey Tunnel Accident: Man Gets Nearly Two Years in Jail

George Massey Tunnel Accident: Man Gets Nearly Two Years in Jail

Victim Ky Tran and her husband were driving home after dinner when they were hit by a car traveling in the opposite direction.

The family of a Richmond woman who died in a fatal collision outside the George Massey Tunnel in September 2020 received closure Wednesday.

Sundeep Singh Mann, 42, was sentenced to two years less one day in prison for dangerous driving.

Mann’s sentencing hearing took place last Friday, June 28. He was placed in handcuffs and led away after receiving his sentence in Richmond Provincial Court.

Richmond Provincial Court Judge Diana Vandor described the facts of the case as “horrible and heartbreaking.”

“This is not just another example of the destructive, damaging and deadly impact that reckless driving has on Canadian society. Nearly 50 case examples were presented during the sentencing hearing,” Vandor said.

“This is the Tran family. Their grief is intense and heartbreaking.”

Shortly after midnight on September 2, 2020, Mann’s white SUV crossed the center line and collided with the vehicle driven by 61-year-old victim Ky Tran just outside the north end of the George Massey Tunnel.

Tran was pronounced dead at the scene and her husband was sent to hospital with serious injuries.

During the sentencing hearing on June 28, the court heard that the northbound lane was closed for maintenance work and traffic in both directions was reduced to one lane each. The speed limit was reduced to 60 kilometres per hour.

Witnesses recalled seeing Mann weaving through traffic inside the tunnel and seeing the digital speedometer indicating he was travelling at 109 km/h. Alcohol was found in Mann’s blood when he was taken to hospital for treatment.

Mann pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous operation causing death and one count of dangerous operation causing bodily harm.

“Traffic offenders are often, like Mr. Mann, prosocial individuals who have had little or no prior contact with the criminal justice system,” Vandor said.

“The consequences of reckless driving are rarely intended, but the risk that produces them is assumed by choice.”

He added that the penalties imposed for such offences are designed to denounce reckless behaviour and deter others from engaging in dangerous driving behaviours that “too often cause tragedies like this one.”

“A clear example of this is what happened this weekend in West Vancouver,” Vandor said.

The suspended sentence is insufficient for the crime

Four main aggravating factors were considered: Mann’s driving history with temporary driving bans and speeding offences; Mann’s driving pattern at the time, which included driving at almost twice the speed limit and having alcohol in his blood; the fact that he caused the death of one person and injured another; and the impact on the victims.

Mitigating factors included Mann’s early guilty plea, expressions of remorse, lack of criminal history and strong support from family and friends. Vandor also took into account Mann’s attempts to mitigate his offending after the collision, but gave them less weight.

He considered that the seriousness of the crimes committed by Mann was “very high” and that he had a high degree of responsibility and moral culpability for the actions he carried out on the night of the collision.

Vandor agreed with prosecutors that a two-year prison sentence was appropriate for causing Tran’s death, but decided to give him one day less so he could serve his sentence in a provincial institution.

He would also serve 18 months in jail concurrently for causing actual bodily harm to Tran’s husband, as well as a five-year driving ban.

While the defense requested a conditional sentence served in the community, which would include house arrest, Vandor did not agree.

She considered that the breakdown of Mann’s family unit should not be considered a mitigating consequence of his offending.

“… his damaged family relationships were the entirely predictable result of his offending, which turned his family members, including his children, into secondary victims,” ​​Vandor said, adding that incarceration in a provincial institution in BC will allow him to be closer to his children.

The sentence proposed by the defense was not sufficient for prosecution and deterrence purposes, Vandor said, explaining that Mann made “exceptionally dangerous driving decisions.”

The sentence should be longer, says the victim’s family

Addressing reporters outside the courthouse, Tran’s daughter, Lisa Tran, said she was “quite happy” with the outcome.

“We were afraid it wouldn’t be that long, but it turned out to be two years less one day, which was surprising,” she said.

However, the family believes the sentence should be longer.

“I don’t think two years is enough for someone who made the decision to drink, made the decision to get in a car and made all the decisions for themselves. You know, you have a choice. You can drink, yes, but don’t drive,” Lisa explained.

“I think he should get a longer sentence, just because he killed someone.”

Tran’s sister Ut Yue had doubts about Mann’s remorse.

“I don’t think he was remorseful, because if he was, he would have stopped drinking right after killing my sister,” he said.

“For two years, he’s out, he can take care of his kids, see them, while (Tran) misses all the great moments with (his) grandkids and (her) kids, too.”

The family is still reeling nearly four years after the tragedy, but Mann’s sentencing has brought some relief, they say.

“For us, it’s closure. We feel better now that we don’t have to worry about the courts and all that anymore,” Lisa said.

Tran was “the best mother you could ask for,” he said.

“We’ll never forget her. We’ll always think about her, but the thing is, we don’t have to worry about hearing about what happened again and going through all this again.”

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