Driver pleads guilty to lesser charge in triple-fatal Moncton crash

·2 min read
Three people died after a single vehicle accident on the Trans-Canada Highway in 2019. (Wade Perry/Twitter - image credit)
Three people died after a single vehicle accident on the Trans-Canada Highway in 2019. (Wade Perry/Twitter - image credit)

A man charged with dangerous driving causing the deaths of three college students in Moncton nearly three years ago pleaded guilty on Monday to a lesser charge.

Saumil Prashantkumar Shah was set to stand trial over three weeks on six charges, three of dangerous driving causing death and three of causing death by criminal negligence. The trial by judge and jury was scheduled to begin June 20.

Prosecutor Pierette Allain laid a new charge, driving without due care and attention, under the Motor Vehicle Act on Monday and Shah, 29, pleaded guilty.

Judge Luc Labonte accepted a joint recommendation for a $3,000 fine plus a $450 surcharge.

Shah was also sentenced to two years probation, and will not be allowed to drive a motor vehicle in New Brunswick during that time. He has six months to pay the fine.

The status of the original six charges is not clear. Shah is still scheduled to appear in the Court of Queen's Bench in Moncton next Tuesday to address them. The docket lists the proceeding as a trial by judge and jury.

The charges stem from a crash on the Trans-Canada Highway in Moncton near the Shediac Road exit around 5:45 p.m. on Sept. 1, 2019. Shah was allegedly driving a Subaru Outback heading east that rolled and landed in the median.

All five passengers in the vehicle were Indian citizens with four studying at the New Brunswick Community College.

Shah, a permanent resident, was described at the time as working at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John.

The RCMP said two men, both 24-years-old, and a third, 29, were ejected from rear seats and died as a result of the crash. A 25-year-old male passenger in the front seat survived.

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