Truck Driver in Fatal Highway 17 Crash Sentenced to 3 Years Probation

The truck driver who killed a Santa Cruz man and injured seven others when his big rig slammed into stopped traffic on Highway 17 was sentenced Friday to three years probation and community service.

Most of the probation time for Ravinderpal Singh, 24, will be used to promote truck safety.

Singh appeared Friday at the Santa Clara County court and apologized to the victim's families and acknowledged that he chose to drive a double trailer filled with tons of dirt over Highway 17 in rush hour traffic. Singh only had three months of experience as a trucker during the crash.

"Don't take the keys," Singh said when asked what he would like to tell other drivers. "Don't get pushed around by anyone."

The accident in July 2014 killed 25-year-old Daniel McGuire. His mother, Gail-Jean McGuire, said jail time would benefit no one and asked the judge order Singh to work for truck safety on the highways.

"We have to think about everyone's loved one," she said. "This truck industry needs to be held accountable."

The McGuire family, surrounded by a dozen friends at the sentencing, expressed frustration that the trucking company that employed Singh had not been on trial. California Highway Patrol inspectors found the brakes on Singh's truck worn down to the metal, leaking and out of adjustment.

Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Alise Esser-Kahn said the trucking company was not on trial because the case was limited to Singh.

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