Driver who struck 5 Kanata cyclists found guilty
A jury has found Sommit Luangpakham guilty on all 10 charges of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and leaving the scene of an accident in the 2009 crash injuring five cyclists in Kanata, Ont.
Luangpakham, 47, was allowed bail, Crown attorney Matthew Humphreys decided, until his sentencing hearing on Jan. 6.
But the man will be banned from driving during that time and has had to relinquish his passport.
The five cyclists were riding single file in the bike lane on March Road in the west Ottawa neighbourhood of Kanata in July 2009 when they were struck by a van that moved into the bike lane. All five were hurt and four were seriously injured.
Cathy Anderson, one of the crash victims, was the only cyclist who could recall the crash and also the only victim who testified during the trial.
She said the group is just glad the ordeal is over.
"I'm very confident in the jury's decision today that they took the evidence and they made the right decision based on what was presented," said Anderson, who then breathed a deep sigh.
"I'm thoroughly relieved that it's over. It was a very long and stressful time for all of us."
Luangpakham testified Monday he fell asleep and only woke up when the wind hit his face after the windshield was smashed in.
He also said he thought he had hit a post and did not stop at the scene because he had not realized he hit people.
Defence lawyer Richard Addelman said Tuesday it was a case of momentary lapse in judgment.