But a night out enjoying drinks with co-workers ended in tragedy when the 34-year-old was struck and killed by a drunk driver after a cabbie abandoned her on the side of a busy Hwy. 401 in Etobicoke just over seven years ago.
“No cab driver should ever, ever do what he did that night,” civil lawyer Patrick Brown, who represented Williams’ family in a recently settled wrongful death lawsuit for an undisclosed amount, said Thursday. “It’s common sense.”
He said the taxi driver, Davinder Singh Sandu, “has never paid the price for his actions.”
“She paid the ultimate price — her life,” Brown said. “She and her friends did the right thing. When you are drunk, you take a cab.”
Williams and her co-workers from a Toronto dental office attended a company Christmas party at The Keg in midtown Toronto on Dec. 1, 2011.
At the end of the night, her friends put Williams in a taxi and sent her off to her Mississauga home. But she wound up dead within 30 minutes of leaving the bar.
When her taxi cab reached the 401, a drunken Williams aggressively demanded the driver stop immediately because she had to pee. So Sandu pulled over on the shoulder, not far from the exit at Martin Grove Rd.Moments later, the vulnerable woman was attempting to cross six lanes of live traffic when she was hit by a van with a drunk driver behind the wheel around 1 a.m. on Dec. 2.
The van’s driver, To Ha Phan, now 56, was acquitted of impaired driving causing death but convicted of the lesser charge of impaired driving in April 2015.
“It’s pretty shameful that no charges were laid against the cabbie and the penalty against the drunk driver seems woefully inadequate,” Brown said, adding Williams “had her whole life ahead of her.”
“No amount of money would ever be a just result for her loving family,” he said.
Phan received a $2,500 fine and two-year driving prohibition as punishment for his drunk driving conviction.
“In short, the collision occurred while Mr. Phan was over 80 mg, not because he was over 80 mg,” Justice Gary Trotter said.
He praised the lawyers involved in the case for performing their duties skillfully “but also with appropriate respect for the life that was so tragically and needlessly lost on the 401 that night.”
“Had Sandu not pulled over to the side of the highway and acted as he did, Williams would likely be alive today,” said Trotter. “Her own actions contributed to what ultimately happened to her.”
“She was left to look after herself when she was realistically unable to do so,” he said. “The fate that befell her was virtually inevitable.”
Prosecutor Helen Song argued a sober Phan could have averted the deadly crash. She noted two cars had safely avoided Williams only minutes before Phan slammed into her.
The two earlier drivers spotted Williams, a striking 5-foot-8 woman wearing three-inch heeled boots, with platinum blonde hair flowing past her shoulders and a white or beige coat, Song said.
One of the two motorists, limousine driver Daljit Cheema, “the quintessential Good Samaritan, tried to help Williams, who was obviously in danger,” Trotter said.
“It was too late,” he added.
Source: Ottawa Sun