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

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

Local people are signing onto an online campaign to have people stand out of doors at 6 p.m. local time on Christmas Eve and ring bells for two minutes. (Facebook post)
LETTER: Langley, ring those Christmas bells

Global campaign asks people to ring bells for two minutes outside at 6 p.m. Christmas Eve local time

Rents range from $1,000 for a studio apartment up to almost $2,000 for a family townhouse at Emmaus Place, built as affordable housing. (Langley Advance Times files)
Rents out of reach at Langley affordable housing project, say would-be tenants

Rents for a studio apartment start at $1,000 a month

Belmont school in Langley reported one person tested positive for COVID-19 (Undated Google Maps image)
COVID-19 cases reported at Belmont Elementary and DW Poppy schools in Langley

Fraser Health says in both cases the affected individuals are self-isolating at home

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Despite rumours, Surrey RCMP say they are not issuing tickets to people if they are driving in a vehicle with others from a different household. (File photo)
COVID-19 tickets: No, RCMP aren’t checking vehicle occupancies, restaurant tables

Enforcement about education, not punishment says Surrey RCMP Cpl. Joanie Sidhu

Most Read