Avneet Sidhu, the daughter of Sarbjit Kaur Sidhu, speaks to those attending a candlelight vigil in memory of her mom and two other women who died in a crash of a van carrying farmworkers in March 2007. The vigil was held Saturday at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

Candlelight vigil held for 3 female farmworkers killed in 2007 crash

Event held Saturday at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium in Abbotsford

Three female farmworkers who were killed in a crash in Abbotsford on March 7, 2007, were remembered at a candlelight vigil on Saturday.

The event took place at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium in Abbotsford and was hosted by the BC Federation of Labour.

Sarbjit Kaur Sidhu, Amarjit Bal, and Sukhvinder Kaur Punja were killed when the van they were travelling in flipped on Highway 1 near the Sumas Way exit.

Despite carrying 17 passengers, the van had just two seatbelts, one seat consisted only of a wooden bench, and its tires were in poor condition and not properly inflated.

Police at the time described the crash as “catastrophic.”

The driver of the van, Harwinder Gill, did not face criminal charges, but later pleaded guilty to driving without reasonable consideration and without a proper licence.

He was ordered to pay $2,000 and was given a one-year driving ban.

A coroner’s inquest into the deaths in 2009 produced 18 recommendations to better improve safety for farmworkers.

The three women – and other farmworkers – are also memorialized in the Golden Tree monument that is located in the International Friendship Garden outside Clearbrook Library.

RELATED: Eight years after crash of van carrying farmworkers, struggle for safety continues

RELATED: Golden Tree monument unveiled in Friendship Garden

Just Posted

Man pleads guilty to Surrey crash that killed two Abbotsford women

Sarah Dhillon and Paige Nagata died following head-on collision on Nov. 4, 2018

VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: B.C. Horseshoe Association hosts Abbotsford tournament

B.C. International Highwayman Open runs on Saturday and Sunday

Fire breaks out in Abbotsford home

Crews were able to quickly douse the fire and save the structure

Recent food symposium aims to create ‘valley food culture’

Event held in Abbotsford drew 100 people form local food community

Man arrested after police standoff and fire at Abbotsford home

Suspect allegedly breached conditions to not be near victim or her home

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

LETTER: Fletcher ‘blurs reality’ on B.C. union public construction

Bridge, highway projects awarded to companies, not unions

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

Judge: Mississippi 6-week abortion ban ‘smacks of defiance’

The new law would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected

On-duty Vancouver cop facing dangerous driving charges after cyclist hit

The woman was taken to hospital with minor injuries

Oil companies, 24-cent gap between B.C., Alberta to be focus of gas price probe

Premier John Horgan called the spike in gas prices ‘alarming’

Growing coffee, tea, lemons and papayas in the Fraser Valley

‘Anything that is grown anywhere on the planet we can grow’

Motorcycle deaths spike 50% since 2017

Riders were most likely fatally crash on the weekends compared with the rest of the week

Most Read