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The TTC fired the bus driver who struck and killed a 14-year-old pedestrian in 2014 — and didn’t want him back.

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There was no remorse and no apology, the agency argued, and it wasn’t the first time driver Dhanbir Shergill had run after their safety procedures.

But now they have no choice but to rehire him.

The Ontario Divisional Court has upheld a controversial arbitration decision last year that ordered Shergill reinstated — but to a non-driving role.

It was about 5:30 pm just a few days before Christmas 2014. Amaria Diljohn-Williams was the only passenger to get off Shergill’s northbound 133 Neilson bus. As she was crossing on the green light, he turned right on to Finch Ave. E., running over the girl and killing her almost instantly.

Known and loved as “Momo,” she was remembered as a popular student at Woburn Collegiate where she sang in the school choir. Her death from her was tragic, but what made it even more disturbing was that poor girl was left behind to die on the dark, rainy street.

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Unaware of what he’d just done, Shergill simply continued on his route.

Five days after her death, the TTC determined it was a preventable accident and fired Shergill for cause. But the 28-year-old would face far more than just the loss of his job.

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Shergill was originally charged with careless driving causing death and failing to remain at the scene. In 2016, a judge dropped the criminal charges against him at a preliminary hearing, finding no evidence the driver knew he’d hit Amaria.

Following an acquittal under the Highway Traffic Act and then a Crown appeal, Shergill was eventually found guilty of careless driving under the HTA in January 2020.

The trial judge accepted that he didn’t see Amaria but said he “failed to satisfy himself, before beginning his right turn, that the sole passenger who had exited his bus was not about to cross the road in front of him” and that failure “amounted to a want of due care and attention and a failure to exercise reasonable consideration for Ms. Diljohn-Williams.”

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Shergill was sentenced to a $2,000 fine and 12 months probation.

“To the family, I’m deeply sorry for your loss,” he said at the hearing “I know there isn’t anything I can say that will take away the pain you have experienced. I can’t imagine what you have been going through and continue to go through.”

His union then fought to get him his job back.

Hired in 2008 when he was 21, Shergill hardly had a spotless employment history at the time: arbitrator Lorne Slotnick was told that his record included a warning letter after a preventable collision less than three months prior to the 2014 accident, as well as a “ last chance agreement” signed in 2011 after he was fired and then reinstated for using a Bluetooth device while driving a TTC vehicle.

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The TTC said Shergill refused to explain what happened, never apologized and a strong message of deterrence was necessary so employees know they must follow their training.

Slotnick agreed Shergill’s record showed “too casual an approach to driving safety” to reinstate him as an operator. But the arbitrator ruled the TTC must find him another job — though without having to pay him back pay.

“While I agree that Mr. Shergil should not be driving for the TTC, I do not agree with the TTC that Mr. Shergil‘s lapse in safety, as serious as the consequences were, irreparably damaged the employment relationship,” he wrote.

This week the Divisional Court dismissed the TTC’s appeal.

“The arbitrator considered a variety of factors, including the nature of the misconduct, the fact it was a momentary lapse, the disciplinary record, the work record, seniority and remorse. Having weighed the various factors, I have concluded that the penalty of dismissal was excessive.”

You have to wonder what would be enough to get you fired from the TTC?

And so almost eight years after his careless driving resulted in the senseless death of a young girl, Shergill could soon be back in a TTC uniform. But at least he won’t be behind the wheel.

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