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Sentencing hearing for driver in deadly train crash

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A sentencing hearing got underway Monday for a Brampton man who admitted to being behind the wheel of the car that crashed into a train at a railway crossing in Tottenham nearly three years ago.

30-year-old Jarmanjeet Singh pleaded guilty to his part in the deadly crash that claimed the lives of two young women, 19 and 24 years of age, who were among four passengers in his car on their way to work the overnight shift when it was hit by the train along the 5th line.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

Singh heard directly from those he hurt in the deadly crash, including the train’s conductor and a passenger in Singh’s car, who lost her sister and best friend that night. Both women read their victim impact statements to the court. CTV News will not be naming the women

“I have been experiencing nightmares,” said the woman who described coming to Canada from India to study and create a new life for herself.

“I can’t even sleep,” she added. Crying, the woman described immense grief and regret for having convinced her younger sister to join her in Canada about a month earlier.

“I have to live with the guilt that I recommended her for the job. She was just 19. She just came to Canada 45 days prior.”

The young woman described the loss of her loved ones and never getting to say goodbye. She told the court she was in a coma fighting for her own life in hospital where she remained for two months following the crash.

She outlined for the court the horrific injuries she suffered that night, including a brain bleed, collapsed lung and damaged spine, ankle and pelvis. She explained persistent and daily headaches as well as long-term effects on her menstrual cycle.

“Everything is ruined,” she told the court.

The conductor of the train then read her victim impact statement to the court, sharing her life-altering trauma.

“Since October 14, 2021, there hasn’t been a single day of my life that I don’t think about the accident,” she read.

“I will forever be burdened by the actions of a stranger.” The woman described significant physical and mental health challenges she’s faced since the crash. She said it affected her confidence to make once simple, everyday choices.

“This will forever impact my life and those around me,” she explained.

Police said the young women from Brampton were temporary workers at a nearby automotive parts factory and were driven by Singh.

Police confirmed at the time of the crash the train signals were flashing but the crossing did not have arm barriers.

It wasn’t until April of last year, with the help of U.S. customs and border protection officers, provincial police say Singh was tracked down and arrested. He was initially charged with two counts of criminal negligence causing death, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, obstruction of justice and failing to stop at the railway crossing.

Singh’s sentencing hearing is scheduled to resume next month in Barrie, where the remaining two victim impact statements are expected to be read to the court.

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