Man convicted in deadly 2018 Richmond Hill crash sentenced to more than 5 years in jail
A 22-year-old man who pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death in connection with a crash in Richmond Hill last year has been sentenced to a little more than five years in prison.
The two-vehicle collision occurred around 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 19, 2018 near Bayview Avenue and Woodriver Street.
A 21-year-old woman, identified as Julia Baciu, was pronounced dead at the scene. She was a passenger in one of the vehicles. The 22-year-old driver of the same vehicle was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.
The other driver, identified as Toronto resident Seyed Yashar Tolouei, sustained minor injuries. The day after the crash, Tolouei was charged with 12 offences, including impaired driving causing death and failing to provide a breath sample.He later admitted to having consumed alcohol and marijuana.
All but one charge was withdrawn.
Crews respond to a fatal collision on Bayview Avenue near Woodriver Street in Richmond Hill Sunday August 19, 2019.(CTV News Toronto)
On Friday, Tolouei was handed five years and nine months in jail for his role in the crash. He will also receive eight-year driving prohibition.
“Knowing that the most that our criminal justice system could do was done, does provide a little relief,” said Cristian Baciu, the victim’s brother, after the sentencing. “Truthfully, I’m doubtful that he truly understands the magnitude of what he has done.”
Four days prior to the sentencing, Tolouei posted images of him smiling and going skydiving to Instagram. On June 3, he published a selfie that appears to have been taken outside the Newmarket courthouse with the caption “good vibes on dark days.”
His lawyer told CTV News Toronto that “certainly, there was a lack of remorse.”
“Sociopathic is the word he once used to describe himself to me,” Brian Brody said.
Seyed Yashar Tolouei is seen in this photograph posted to social media on June 3. (Instagram/@yasharto)
Twelve victim impact statements were read at the sentencing hearing, including that of Baciu’s childhood friend Jen Kesner.
In her statement, Kesner said that her friend’s death was “no accident.”
“It was your conscious decision to elude your sober mind, knowing you needed to operate your vehicle later that evening,” the statement read. “A speed of 168 km/h is no accident, it is a decision you made knowing you would risk yourself, your now ex-girlfriend, your family, friends and everyone that surrounds you on the road.”
Julia Baciu, 21, is seen in this undated photograph. (CTV News Toronto)
Kesner said that she met Baciu in high school and often talked about growing up together and raising families with each other.
“Julia was one of the smartest, funniest, and most understanding people anyone would have ever met,” she said. “Julia is irreplaceable. I will never find anyone like her ever again.”
With files from CTV News Toronto's Sean Leathong