Winnipeg woman fined for crash that killed daughter
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/08/2022 (210 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Yazidi woman who fled Islamic State atrocities for a new life in Canada has been fined $200 after admitting responsibility for a fatal collision that claimed the life of her five-year-old daughter.
Jinan Salo, 30, pleaded guilty to one count of driving with a learner’s permit without a supervising driver in connection to the June 19, 2019, crash in Winnipeg.
A fine wasn’t necessary to deter Salo, who has already “paid the ultimate price,” but to deter others from doing the same thing, provincial court Judge Michael Clark said at a sentencing hearing earlier this month.
“I think if the public heard what the fine was, they wouldn’t be offended, given the ultimate price losing a child has had on their family.”
According to an agreed statement of facts provided to court, Salo was driving a Sienna Toyota minivan westbound on Dalhousie Drive around 1:40 p.m., when she attempted to pass the vehicle in front of her, swerved into the oncoming lane and collided head-on with an eastbound SUV.
Salo’s one-year-old daughter and four-year-old daughter were strapped into child car seats, but five-year-old Binsaa Ahmed was not. She was ejected from the vehicle and suffered devastating head injuries.
Salo’s vehicle “came like a bullet straight toward me,” the driver of the second vehicle, a retired Autopac adjuster, told police. “I had like three seconds, I couldn’t react. I closed my eyes, I thought I was dead.”
The man was not injured.
Another witness said she saw Salo after the collision holding her daughter outside the car, covered in blood and hysterical.
Binsaa was taken to hospital where doctors “deemed the head injury incompatible with life and medical care was withdrawn,” Crown attorney Paula Leslie told court, reading from the agreed statement of facts.
A police collision reconstructionist determined Salo’s vehicle was travelling 66 kilometres per hour some four seconds before impact. The speed limit on Dalhousie is 50 km/h.
Salo and her husband and children arrived in Canada in 2017, three years after terrorists from the so-called Islamic State group invaded towns and cities in their native home of Iraq.
“I think if the public heard what the fine was, they wouldn’t be offended, given the ultimate price losing a child has had on their family.” – Provincial court Judge Michael Clark
Salo is a permanent resident. As she was charged under the Highway Traffic Act, not the Criminal Code, her conviction will not trigger any possible deportation proceedings, Leslie said.
Salo does not speak English and was not provided any driving instruction in her native language of Kurmanji, said defence lawyer David Walker. When Salo wrote her driver’s test she was accompanied by a Yazidi acquaintance who translated the questions for her, Walker said.
Walker said the Manitoba Association of Newcomers approached Manitoba Public Insurance about expanding its language services in 2018.
“Unfortunately, (Kurmanji) programs had not yet been implemented at MPI,” Walker said. “It was not so much that (Salo) was driving without care, she was driving without understanding the rules of the road.”
The day of the collision, Salo’s husband told her to pick up their children from daycare, Walker said.
“When she’s told to do something by her husband, she does it,” he said. “That’s the way it works in their community.”
Clark said he became “very emotional” reviewing the facts of the case.
“There’s simply nothing anyone in this court can say that will give Ms. Salo any comfort,” he said.
In addition to a fine, Clark barred Salo from applying for a driver’s licence for one year.
Someone once said a journalist is just a reporter in a good suit. Dean Pritchard doesn’t own a good suit. But he knows a good lawsuit.