Calgary

Ali Montoya admits guilt after crash that killed Calgary taxi driver, passenger

The man accused of being impaired behind the wheel in a crash that killed a taxi driver and his 25-year-old passenger has pleaded guilty.

Montoya faces two counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of causing bodily harm

Both Amritpal Kharbanda, 46, and Jillian Lavallee, 25, were killed when an alleged drunk driver crashed into the taxi the two were in on May 2, 2015. (Facebook)

The man accused of being impaired behind the wheel in a crash that killed a taxi driver and his 25-year-old passenger has pleaded guilty.

Ali Montoya entered the guilty plea in court Friday to two counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Last May, his Cadillac Escalade ran a red light on Macleod Trail and 12th Avenue S.E., hitting a small car, which then struck the taxi.

The 46-year-old taxi driver, Amritpal Kharbanda, died at the scene and his passenger, Jillian Lavallee, died in hospital hours later. 

The driver of the small car was also injured in the crash.

It was an emotional day for Jillian Lavallee's family in court on Friday.

"We're pleased that Mr. Montoya chose to plead guilty and not put the family through the preliminary and a full trial," said her father, Dan Lavallee.

"I hope that means he's remorseful."

The Lavallee family has raised money for Kharbanda's wife and two children, and for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

Montoya will next appear in court on June 3 to set a date for his sentencing hearing.

Brenda, Dan and Caitlin Lavallee outside the Calgary court centre. They say losing their daughter will have a permanent impact on their lives. (Colleen Underwood/CBC)

With files from the CBC's Colleen Underwood