"Wedding goes ahead despite tragedy"
killed & 19 injured when truck plowed into "Jaago"
Abbotsford, BC, August 27, 2007
A 71-year-old man, believed to be NRI (NON RESIDENT INDIAN) pickup
truck driver plowed into the family gathered to participate in
a traditional Indian wedding ritual called "Jaago" shortly
after 11 p.m. Friday where mostly female members of the bride's
family walk together from the house of a close family friend to
the bride's residence. They were singing, carrying lights and
dressed in bright clothing.
According to local news paper, three men and three women were
killed. Five of the victims have been identified by Punjabi Radio
as Damanpreet Singh Kang, 13, Rubal Kaur, 22, Bhupinder Singh
Kaler, 24, Rapduman Singh Dhillan, 25 and Satinder Kaur Mahal,
50. A sixth victim has not yet been identified. Some of the them
were reportedly caught underneath the truck as it hurtled towards
Two children, aged seven and four months, were reportedly among
the wounded. Injuries ranged from leg fractures to head trauma,
and one person was said to be in surgery Saturday afternoon.
Two helicopters and fourteen ambulances, and numerous off-duty
police were called to the scene and the injured were transferred
to various hospitals with minor to serious injuries. , sending
shockwaves through the NRI, Indo-Canadian community.
The police questioned the driver, who was reported to be in shock.
He was later released. Police have ruled out alcohol or drugs
not a factor.
The cause of the crash is unknown and investigators remain at
the scene for more information.
On Sunday, The bride Harsiman Kaur Mahil, 22, and groom Jarmal
(Robbie) Singh Grewal were married at the Mission Sikh temple
a quiet Sikh ceremony attended only by immediate family members.