Driver facing deportation will spend last months in Canada behind bars
The driver who caused a serious car crash near Tracadie Cross, P.E.I., last summer was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in jail, but his punishment won't end there.
After 27-year-old Edwin Jos serves his sentence, he will be deported to India.
He was in P.E.I. on a post-graduate work permit, but because of the seriousness of this crime, he's no longer eligible to remain in the country he had hoped to call home.
Last July, court heard that Jos was driving at a high speed along a 12-kilometre stretch of Route 2 northeast of Charlottetown.
Witnesses told police he was tailgating, taking dangerous risks, and even trying to pass on the shoulder of the road.
Jos was passing on a double line on a curve when he crashed head-on into a vehicle holding a man and his two daughters, aged 10 and 13 at the time. The girls had been picking berries at a local patch and their father had come to pick them up.
Both girls suffered broken bones and cuts. The 10-year-old was airlifted to Halifax, where she underwent surgery for four hours. Jos was also airlifted to Halifax with serious injuries.
Rejected plea for house arrest
In provincial court in Charlottetown on Tuesday, Judge Nancy Orr rejected the defence's plea for house arrest.
Orr said the family, who were in court for the sentencing, are still trying to cope with the trauma.
For 12 kilometres, he posed a significant and very real danger to everyone who used the highway at that time. There's no explanation. — Judge Nancy Orr
According to a victim-impact statement, the father suffered a concussion and now struggles with memory loss. The 13-year-old girl saw the car coming and braced herself. She is now nervous being in the car.
Orr said everybody on the highway that day was in danger because of Jos.
"It was 5 p.m. with people heading home from work on one of the busiest roads in this province, especially with tourists in mid-July, who returned after COVID," she said
"For 12 kilometres, he posed a significant and very real danger to everyone who used the highway at that time. There's no explanation."
Asks for forgiveness
Jos himself couldn't explain it. According to a pre-sentence report, the young man acknowledged he was "speeding and driving crazy," but said he doesn't know why. Drugs or alcohol were not a factor. He has no previous record.
"I am deeply sorry for my actions," he said in court Tuesday. "I take full responsibility even though I have no memory of it. I am sorry to everyone for the suffering and trauma I have caused. I am asking forgiveness for that."
Orr said the incident was "prolonged and intentional" and not an accident. It will have consequences beyond his incarceration, she noted.
"Mr. Jos will suffer significant collateral damage. He will be deported. That ends his plan to start a new life and make Canada his home."