wrtwbr · 2021-09-23

Second racer sentenced in trucker’s death

A speeder who pleaded guilty to his part in the death of Innisfil truck driver David Virgoe will be in jail for just under two years.

Twenty-one months behind bars was the sentence Justice Michelle Fuerst gave to Prabhjit Multani, now 21in Barrie court Thursday. It also includes a 10-year driving ban.

“It’s a start,” said Virgoe’s widow Debbie, who now lives in Angus. “I’m satisfied that this will make people think about what’s going on on the roadways. I’m glad he’s not getting out, and I’m glad she gave him a 10-year driving ban.”

Virgoe died in a Highway 400 crash June 18, 2007 after his truck was clipped by a Grand Am racing up the highway. In total, three cars were speeding up from Toronto on their way to Wasaga Beach.

Multani was born in India, and moved to Canada in 2000. He was 19 at the time and had just bought his Ford Mustang a few months before the crash for $9,000. The judge noted it was properly insured, unlike his friend Naumann Nusrat’s Grand Am.

Nusrat was given two years of house arrest last year after pleading guilty to the speed racing charge – criminal negligence causing death. Late last year, the Ontario Court of Appeal decided that the charge should include approximately 30 months in jail, but didn’t force Nusrat back behind bars.

Before giving her sentence, Fuerst went through the details of the crime.

A Grand Am, Mustang and Honda were seen speeding up Highway 400 by several witnesses, who were also cut off by the cars as they darted through traffic.

“Multani’s passengers told him several times to slow down,” said Fuest.

Shortly before the crash, the three cars pulled over to the shoulder, as the drivers had a conversation.

The Mustang was the first to pass Virgoe’s truck that morning, and Nusrat was next in his Grand Am, which hit the shoulder while passing and started to fishtail, eventually clipping Virgoe’s truck, she continued.

“Multani didn’t intend to cause Virgoe’s death, but was egregiously driving for several kilometres on the highway, causing deliberate endangerment of those on the road,” the judge said.

Even though his car wasn’t the one that hit Virgoe’s truck, Multani is equally to blame for the situation, she said.

When making her sentence, Fuerst had several circumstances to consider.

He was initially jailed for 12 days, then released on reasonable bail conditions, which included no driving, she said. He was allowed to attend Humber College as a business student.

But on April 28, 2008, he was re-arrested. Multani had gone with his mom when she drove his sister to school. After she went inside, he hopped into the driver’s seat and drove the van up a street. He made a U-turn in front of an unmarked police car and parked on the other side of the street.

He has been in jail since for getting behind the wheel.

Fuerst said he doesn’t get double credit for those 291 days behind bars. She did give him two-for-one time for the 12 days of his original imprisonment, and for 67 days when he was in lockdown at the Central North Correctional Centre in Penetanguishene.

Taking that 13 months and subtracting it from the 30-month minimum left her with a sentence of 17 months in jail for the main crime.

However, the facts that he drove while prohibited and didn’t check in with his probation officer as ordered earned him another four months in jail.

Following that, Multani has a two-year probation, 10-year driving ban and can’t associate with the other two men charged in the crime while on probation.

Brian J. Patterson, president of the Ontario Safety League, was pleased with the sentence. “From a public safety perspective, it sends a message to the public. It didn’t leave any confusion (about the matter of speed racing),” he said.

“The other thing she got right was she wasn’t prepared to look at the breach of conditions as a minor offence, she added the time on. She pointed out that he got reasonable conditions of bail, and he broke the law.”

The third man charged in the death of David Virgoe is Ravi Badhwar. He is waiting for a June trial date.