NEWS
08/21/2014 05:11 EDT | Updated 10/21/2014 05:59 EDT

Burlington Skyway crash: Driver to plead not guilty

The lawyer for the Brampton man who caused traffic mayhem earlier this month when he drove a dump truck with the bucket raised into the Burlington Skyway says his client plans to plead not guilty.

“Right now we’ll start with the assumption he’s pleading not guilty and we’ll go from there,” said Toronto-based lawyer David Locke outside a Hamilton courthouse Friday morning.

Sukhvinder Singh Rai, 34, did not appear in court Friday as his lawyer was just receiving initial disclosure in the case, which includes witness and police statements. It takes three to four weeks to go through those statements, Locke said.

“We’re not getting into any details right now. We want to see what the allegations are and take it from there,” he said. “He and his family are taking this matter very seriously.”

The Toronto-bound lanes carry an average of 75,000 cars daily. The collision forced the closure of the Toronto-bound lanes during the August long weekend, forcing cars to go either around or directly through Hamilton's core.

The collision happened at 3:40 p.m., on an afternoon with clear skies. No one was injured in the crash.

New pavement was laid down during the four-day closure, and a temporary beam is currently in place on the Skyway. A new beam is expected in less than two months.

Rai is charged with one count of impaired operation of a motor vehicle and one count of blood alcohol level exceeding 80 milligrams while operating a motor vehicle. He has been released from custody, but has had his licence suspended for 90 days following the incident on July 31.

Previously, the longest Skyway closure was 12 hours and 11 minutes, a result of severe winds, lightning and scaffolding that fell onto Eastport Drive from the Skyway.

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