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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Delta McDonald’s temporarily closed after employees test positive for COVID-19

Two employees at the Annacis Island location (1285 Cliveden Ave.) reported testing positive on Sept. 18

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

PHOTOS: One injured in shooting on South Surrey-Langley border

Shots reported near 194 Street and 34 Avenue, burned-out vehicle found in 18100-block of 12 Avenue

Mother-daughter charged in 2017 torched-SUV killing in South Surrey now allowed contact

Judge grants Manjit Kaur Deo permission to connect with Inderdeep Kaur Deo through a lawyer

White Rock acupuncturist suspended for ‘scare tactics, excessive fees’

30-day suspension for Jun Hua (Davy) Hua issued Aug. 18

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read