‘You are one sad human being’: Toronto mother tells speeding drunk driver who killed son – Toronto


Avril Higginson could barely speak as she delivered a tearful victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing for the speeding, drunk driver who killed her son, Gregory Girgis, nearly two years ago.
“He was just 26-years-old of age and was killed for selfish reasons. What you have done is unconscionable. You have taken away my son. You are completely irresponsible. You are one sad human being who has destroyed so many people,” said Higginson. The offender Nitan Thakur sat with his head down in the prisoner’s box, at times wiping away tears.At 11:40 pm on July 1, 2022, Thakur was drunk, driving dangerously fast on Wellington Street towards University Avenue in a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. He ran a red light.According to an agreed statement of facts, as Thakur entered the intersection of the red light, his Jeep collided with a Honda CRV and a Toyota Corolla, which were both being operated by Uber drivers. The two Ubers were proceeding northbound on University Avenue. Story continues below advertisement

The impact between Thakur’s Jeep and the Honda caused the Honda to spin towards the southwest corner of the intersection. It struck and severely injured 32-year-old Carlos Bastarrachea-Gallardo, who was walking with his wife.

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At the same time, the Jeep barrelled towards the northwest corner of the intersection and collided with a cement structure. Girgis was walking northbound on the west side of University Avenue, after leaving a nearby Jack Astor’s restaurant where he worked as a bartender. He was struck Thakur’s Jeep, and crushed when the Jeep collided with a cement structure. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the facts, witnesses identified Thakur as the driver of the red Jeep. They also saw a beer can being thrown out of the Jeep after the collision. A silver tall can of beer was found at the scene.Officers spoke to Thakur and his passenger. Thakur identified himself as the driver of the Jeep. When officers asked him what happened, Thakur said, “The light turned red. I wasn’t able to stop, and I hit a vehicle.” Thakur told police he was had consumed a couple of drinks.The investigating officer observed that Thakur appeared dazed and smelled a strong odour of alcohol, coming from his breath. The officer arrested Thakur for impaired driving causing death. When he gave a breath sample roughly two hours after the collision, Thakur had 160 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood, twice the legal limit.

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The black box from the Jeep found that five seconds before the initial impact, Thakur’s Jeep was travelling at 99 km/hr and was accelerating. At two seconds before impact, the Jeep was travelling at 129 km/hr. It was only then that Thakur fully took his foot off the gas pedal.Last December, Thakur pleaded guilty to one count of impaired driving causing death and five counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm. Along with Bastarrachea-Gallardo was had to have his left leg amputated below the knee, the Uber driver in Honda CRV and two of his passengers were also injured. So was Thakur’s passenger who was sitting in the front seat of the Jeep.At the time of the deadly collision, Thakur had outstanding charges under the Highway Traffic Act of speeding and a stunt driving charge.Assistant crown attorney Andrew Gibbons suggested an appropriate sentence would be 11 years for impaired driving causing death and six years for each of the counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm, to be served concurrently. Gibbons also said a 15-year driving prohibition should start upon Thakur’s release from custody, telling Superior Court Justice Susan Himel that sentences for impaired driving are moving upwards.Defence lawyer Abhinav Dang suggested a more appropriate sentence would be four to six years, three years probation and a ten-year driving ban.Before the hearing ended, Thakur told the court he is remorseful for his choices. “My actions have caused irreparable harm and I’m deeply sorry.” Story continues below advertisement

The judge will deliver her sentence in June.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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