Calgary man pleads guilty for 2017 crash that killed mother of 3
CALGARY -- A Calgary man pleaded guilty Monday for a 2017 crash that killed Anjna Sharma, a mother of three who was out for a walk while on a break from work.
“At least there is admission on his part to some extent there is no denial, so it's a bit of relaxation that OK, justice will be done,” said Suneet Sharma, Anjna’s husband of 24 years.
“When [your] life partner leaves, it's not that easy. Also my kids are having difficulties adjusting to the life that they are put in to."
The youngest of Anjna's three children, Archisha Sharma, 15, said the family misses their mother terribly.
"I cry every day just looking at her photo as she’s smiling and I just think why can’t I see that," said Archisha. "I miss her warmth. I need my mom,”
James Beagrie, 47, was scheduled to be on trial Monday for criminal negligence causing death. He pleaded not guilty to that charge, but guilty to dangerous driving causing death.
“The Crown determined that it would be prepared to accept a guilty plea to dangerous driving causing death. We agreed that particular charge more accurately reflected what occurred in this matter,” said Allan Fay, Beagrie’s lawyer, outside court.
According to an agreed statement of facts read in court by Crown prosecutor Kane Richards, just over three weeks before the May 23, 2017 crash, Beagrie was told by his family doctor he shouldn’t be driving as he needed to be seen by a neurologist because of a brain tumor.
In January 2013, Beagrie was informed he had a benign brain tumour and had to see a neurosurgeon annually.
On Feb. 17, 2017, he was involved in a single vehicle crash in Drumheller. He blacked out behind the wheel. Beagrie underwent a CT scan, which showed the tumor had grown.
On May 12, 2017 Beagrie also had received a letter from Alberta Transportation advising him that his licence would be suspended on June 6, 2017.
On May 23, 2017, Beagrie, was driving a Ford F150 near Sunridge Mall N.E. He was travelling northeast toward the access from the 26th Avenue N.E. At the same time, a Toyota Corolla was travelling southwest from the access road.
Court heard Beagrie lost consciousness, crashed into the Toyota, then mounted the curb.
The truck hit Sharma, who was dragged a short distance. The 48-year-old was taken to hospital in life threatening condition where she died.
“He should have known that he’s putting other people’s lives at risk. It’s painful, frustrating, at the same time, it generates the level of anger that, the way that people take it for granted other people’s lives,” said Suneet.
Beagrie is currently out on bail pending sentencing.
A date for a sentencing hearing has yet to be set. Sharma’s family members will be submitting victim impact statements to the court.
“A child is supposed to have their mom,” said Archisha. “I wanted to do so much with her.”