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Woman who killed Kate Lindsay not in court to hear of the pain and loss her actions caused

Harvy Panchal fled to her native India shortly after being found guilty and hasn't returned to face her sentence

The woman who killed Kate Lindsay wasn't in the courtroom Friday to hear the words, sobs and sadness of her family and friends.

She should have been. But Harvy Panchal fled to her native India shortly after being convicted of dangerous driving causing death and has not returned since.

Lindsay, 27, died in July 0f 2016 on her way to work, killed in a head-on collision with a car driven by Panchal as she tried to pass another car on a hill just south of Guelph.

Crown attorney Julia Forward is seeking a two-year prison term, something Justice Gordon Lemon indicated he was likely to agree with. Lemon will deliver his written decision in the next couple of weeks.

On Friday, friends and family were given the opportunity to deliver victim impact statements. Kate Lindsay's mom Helen and two friends read theirs aloud. Nine others were written submissions.

A group of the Cambridge woman’s family and friends, including her father Jim and fiance Brandon Bailey, sat in the gallery as they have for each of the many court appearances over the past three years.

"I think of how she died alone and there was no one to hold her hand," said friend Sonya Lajoie.

"I wish for one more second. I wish for one more hour. I wish for one more conversation. Lastly, I wish for one more hug. Just one more," Lajoie said.

Kate Lindsay was studying to be an educational assistant at Conestoga College. The day she died, she was on her way to a work placement at a facility for developmentally-challenged youth, court heard.

She loved working with children and had a way with them, particularly autistic children.

"She was busy making life happen the way she wanted it to go," her mother said. "How many children and families would she have served?"

Kate Lindsay and her fiance had been together for 10 years and a wedding was being planned.

"I lost more than just Kate that morning, I lost Kate's future family," Helen Lindsay said.

"So many lives were changed when my daughter died at the side of that lonely road. A piece of me died too."

Lindsay died on July 16 on Wellington County Road 35 in Puslinch Township.

Panchal, who had come to Canada two years earlier to study at Centennial College, was on her way with two passengers to African Lion Safari. She was passing a vehicle on a hill when Londsay's car crested the hill, coming straight at her.

At the last instant, both cars, each travelling roughly 90 km/h, swerved onto the east shoulder where the head-on collision took place.

Evidence showed Panchal spent 20 seconds in the wrong lane attempting to pass the red car.

Panchal and her two passengers suffered minor injuries in the collision.

She has missed five court appearances and is no longer represented by a lawyer in court.

It is unknown if any form of extradition attempt to return her to Canada to serve her sentence can or will take place.


Tony Saxon

About the Author: Tony Saxon

Tony Saxon has had a rich and varied 20 year career as a journalist, an award winning correspondent, columnist, reporter, feature writer and photographer.
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