North Delta resident Raji Kaila, 37, was killed in a car crash in Richmond on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)

North Delta man killed in car crash leaves behind wife and two young kids

Hockey-loving Raji Kaila, 37, was ‘an instant joy in the room for the family’

* This story has been updated.

The North Delta man killed in a single-vehicle accident in Richmond on Tuesday (Dec. 19) has been identified as Raji Kaila, a husband and father of two young children.

Kaila, 37, was a passenger in a 2006 Acura sedan that collided with a hydro pole near River Road and No. 8 Road around 11:30 a.m. that day.

The car was partially submerged in a ditch when RCMP arrived. The driver of the vehicle, a 45-year-old fellow Delta resident, was able to escape from the car and help pull the passenger from the vehicle with the help of some Good Samaritans.

Kuljeet Kaila, a local TV and radio broadcaster, said her late relative was “a happy-go-lucky guy, just an instant joy in the room for the family.

“The guy just never had a bad day,” she said on behalf of the family.

“It’s devastating,” Kuljeet added, “because he has a couple little kids – an eight-year-old daughter and a five-year-old boy, and he leaves behind his wife (Sarb), and his parents and his sister, who got married not even a month ago.”

A cab driver by trade, Raji Kaila was travelling in Richmond on his way to pick up car parts, around the time snow began to fall in Metro Vancouver.

“That stretch of road is pretty notorious,” Kuljeet said, “and apparently they’ve been trying to get speedbumps put on it for quite awhile.

“The last time I spoke to him (Raji) was not so long ago, just a few days ago, just to remind him about having winter tires and that snow was coming. I told him to call me if he was stuck downtown or something, and he was like, ‘yeah, yeah, you worry too much.’ And I said, ‘I report on traffic for god sake.’”

Raji, along with his friend driving the vehicle, were taken to hospital after the crash.

“(Raji) was responsive, and then a few hours later, he just… went his own way. He passed on,” Kuljeet said.

Raji Kaila grew up in East Vancouver and moved to the North Delta area about 10 years ago.

Sandeep Parhar, a friend of his for about two decades, remembers Kaila as an athlete who was always full of energy and positive vibes.

Kaila played both ball hockey and ice hockey, and was also a high-level flag football player, Parhar said.

“He’s always been a great athlete in various sports,” Parhar said of the John Oliver Secondary grad.

“He was one of those guys with a lot of energy, always brightened up the room, you know, always a huge smile on his face, and just truly a genuine, good person,” Parhar added.

“Everybody on the team would turn to him with some news because they knew he genuinely cared, you know. He was the heart and soul of our team, just that guy. He’d do the cheers before the game, was the loudest on the bench. It’s just such a loss. He had this energy about him that’s going to be missed, that’s for sure.”

Kaila was also into bhangra music and dance.

“(He) was on a dance team growing up,” Kuljeet Kaila recalled. “He was pretty active, and he and I were just joking that we should start a fitness class, a bhanga fitness class, and he could teach it.”

Alcohol and drugs are not considered to be factors in the accident. Road conditions are considered to be factor.

The Richmond RCMP Road Safety Unit (RSU) is investigating the incident.

If anyone has information or dashcam footage on this incident, contact Constable George of the Richmond RCMP Road Safety Unit at 604-278-1212.

with file from Grace Kennedy/Black Press

Just Posted

Fraser Valley Bald eagle festival explodes in popularity, draws thousands to Mission, Harrison Mills

Weather, news, social media contribute to high turnout, says president

Murder victim Jagvir Malhi was not involved in gangs, says IHIT

Investigators say Abbotsford man was ‘associated to those involved’ in conflict

Mission Christmas Bureau needs more gifts for teens

Asking local professionals to rise to the challenge

Second person dies following head-on collision in Surrey

Paige Nagata of Abbotsford was in crash on Nov. 4 that also killed Sarah Dhillon

11 years sought for Burnaby man who killed girlfriend with hammer, burned her body

Manslaughter sentencing hearing starts Monday in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack for Ryan Armstrong

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

South Korean named Interpol president in blow to Russia

South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang was elected as Interpol’s president edging out a longtime veteran of Russia’s security services.

E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Trump defies calls to punish crown prince for writer’s death

The U.S. earlier sanctioned 17 Saudi officials suspected of being responsible for or complicit in the Oct. 2 killing, but members of Congress have called for harsher actions, including cancelling arms sales.

British, EU leaders to meet as Brexit deadline looms

The U.K. and the European Union agreed last week on a 585-page document sealing the terms of Britain’s departure.

Richard Oland was killed ‘in a rage,’ prosecutor tells son’s murder trial

The verdict from Oland’s 2015 murder trial was set aside on appeal in 2016. Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

B.C.’s HMCS Edmonton rescues two more sea turtles

Warship credited with a turtle rescue earlier in November

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Most Read