Canada 'Not enough': Widow slams sentence for tow truck driver convicted in fatal crash
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The widow of an Ottawa man killed when a tow truck slammed into his vehicle nearly four years ago says the sentence handed to the other driver Friday wasn't harsh enough.
Mohamed Haj-Saleh, 26, was sentenced to two and a half years in a federal penitentiary and given a seven-year driving prohibition after being convicted of dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
Crown seeks 5-year sentence for tow truck driver who killed father of 2
Citing an 'appalling driving record,' an Ottawa crown prosecutor is seeking a five-year sentence for Mohamed Haj-Saleh after he struck and killed 55-year-old Giai Ly in 2015.Mohamed Haj-Saleh was speeding through the intersection of Meadowlands Drive and Viewmount Drive on the afternoon of Nov. 8, 2015, when he hit a Honda Acura being driven by 55-year-old Giai Ly.
Two and a half years. That's really little. - Jenny Wu, Giai Ly's widow
Giai Ly, 55, was killed on Nov. 8, 2015, when Haj-Saleh ran a red light at the intersection of Meadowlands and Viewmount drives and slammed into Ly's Acura CSX. Ly's youngest daughter, Lisa, now 17, was a passenger in the car and suffered serious injuries.
Evidence presented at the trial showed Haj-Saleh was speeding at between 95 and 110 km/h in a 40 km/h residential zone at the time of the collision.
"It's still not enough," said Jenny Wu, Ly's widow. "Two and a half years. That's really little."
Wu said her husband supported the family and was a great citizen who contributed to society, and said it's not fair he was taken from his family when he was still relatively young.
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Ly and his youngest daughter had been driving a friend of Lisa's home after a belated birthday celebration when the collision occurred.
Wu said her daughter, who sustained six broken bones in the collision, continues to suffer. She has a metal rod in her leg, several screws in her hip and attends physio every week, Wu said.
Youth, remorse mitigating factors
In delivering his sentencing, Justice Robert Maranger said mitigating factors in the sentencing included Haj-Saleh's lack of a criminal record, his supportive family, his relative youth and the "heartfelt remorse" he expressed in court.
But Maranger also noted Haj-Saleh's poor driving record, including 26 Highway Traffic Act violations, among them five speeding tickets in a "relatively short period of time."
"This is not a case of a momentary lapse in judgment. Speeding down a residential street through an intersection requires a deliberately thought out act for more than a mere moment in time," Maranger said.
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On Friday, Wu questioned the sincerity of Haj-Saleh's remorse.
"I don't think this is the truth, is in his heart," she said.
The Crown asked for five years' imprisonment and a 10-year driving prohibition, while the defence wanted 12 to 18 months behind bars and a five-year driving prohibition for Haj-Saleh.
Confrontation outside courthouse
The courtroom was quiet while the sentence was read out. Family members embraced Haj-Saleh before he was led into custody, and paramedics took one woman away on a stretcher shortly after.
Outside the courthouse, some family members became upset, swearing at reporters there to cover the sentencing. One man spat at a camera operator, while two others struck a videographer's camera.
Earlier in the morning, video also captured two men confronting a photographer, telling him to put his camera away.
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