Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Monday

August 5, 2013

Driver in double-fatal crash due in court

TRAVERSE CITY — A Canadian semi-truck driver involved in a crash that killed two Thompsonville men is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

Brothers Jeffery Mitchell Toole, 49, and Joel Willard Toole, 43, died Friday when their pickup truck was struck by the trailer of a semi-truck that drifted into the northbound lane of M-37.

The driver of the semi, Kuldeep Singh Khangura, 28, of Markham, Ontario, was not injured. Grand Traverse County sheriff's Capt. Randy Fewless said Khangura was arrested on two counts of a moving violation causing death, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. He said investigators believe Khangura did not exhibit caution considering existing road conditions as the semi-truck approached the first portion of a sharp "S"-turn near Center Road.

"The road conditions were wet, but as far as a speed determination, we're waiting on an accident reconstruction," Fewless said.

Sheriff's deputies closed M-37 and rerouted traffic for about six hours on Friday as they investigated the crash.

Khangura was released from jail on a 10 percent $50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court at 9:45 a.m. Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney said Monday he's waiting for a police report in order to officially file the charges, but he did receive a probable cause arrest form.

Fewless said the driver is originally from India, holds a Canadian driver’s license, and has a current U.S. visa.

"On Friday, when the accident occurred, we did run a full criminal history," he said. "It appears everything was valid and nothing was showing on his driver's license."

A vehicle inspection report shows the Canada Inc. semi-truck was inspected in Brampton, Ontario, near Toronto. Canada Inc. representatives couldn't be reached for comment.

Fewless said a portable breathalyzer test showed no sign the driver was drinking alcohol.

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