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

File Photo/Black Press
District of Kent to receieve 5G upgrade

Rogers Communications announced the expansion of their network

NEWS FILE PHOTO
Voters in Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission and Langley may head back to polls in 2021

Election of local politicians in BC vote would trigger by-elections in several Fraser Valley cities

Contributed Photo/Marina Dunn
Community Camera: October, 22, 2020

Submit your photos to news@ahobserver.com

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Most Read