A man who fled the scene of a deadly accident south of Montreal in 2017 has been sentenced to a year in jail.

Harmandeep Singh was behind the wheel of a truck on Highway 30 in Brossard that rear-ended a car carrying a family of tourists from Mexico, resulting in the death of 21-year-old passenger Ariel Garcia Ramos. 

He will spend one year behind bars for fleeing the scene, not for the accident itself. 

“It’s very important to note he was not drunk,” said Singh’s defence lawyer Anthony El-Haddad. “He was not driving erratically.” 

At the time of the accident, Singh was travelling at 105 km/h, while the Ramos’s car was going 67 km/h. He reportedly tried to change lanes before the collision. 

Within 24 hours, Singh had fled to India, where he is from. 

Singh returned to Canada in 2018, where he was arrested at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. Had Singh stayed at the scene of the accident, his lawyers say he likely would not have been charged at all. 

The judge noted he had come back to face the consequences of his actions, but Canadian citizenship could be unreachable now. 

“His situation is very precarious right now. He’s going to have to convince the government that he should stay in Canada,” said Singh’s defence. 

“Our client regrets a lot what happened,” said El-Haddad. “He’s got a lot of remorse because four other lives were affected.”

The prosecution suggested 18 months in jail, but Crown prosecutor Francois Parent said he thought the ruling was fair. 

As a Crown prosecutor, when you suggest a sentence that’s a little higher, it stings a bit,” said Parent, “but we understand the work.” 

The judge noted the three other occupants of the car have not fully recovered physically or mentally. During the trial, Ramos’s aunt told the court his mother feels guilty for surviving when her son was killed. 

“He cannot live a second time,” said Alicia Galindo, the victim’s aunt. “He is not here.”