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Truck owner starts jail sentence after fatal crash

The owner of the commercial truck that killed a Recology driver last year will spend the next six months in jail.

Jasbir Singh Sangha began his 180-day sentence Tuesday at the Yuba County Jail, Undersheriff Jerry Read confirmed.

Gary Mathis, 43, was killed June 28, 2011 on Highway 20. Mathis’ truck collided head on with a semi-truck traveling the opposite way driven by 74-year-old Ernest Allan Coublucq.

Sangha owned JS Trucking and employed Coublucq as a driver.

Yuba County prosecutors said Sangha knew the truck’s brakes were not properly adjusted and that tires were bald, which caused the vehicle to fishtail and crash into Mathis’ truck.

Despite the known deficiencies, Sangha forced Coublucq to keep the truck on the road, which prosecutors said caused Mathis’ death.

Sangha doctored phony lease and liability waivers after the crash, claiming he’d sold the truck to Coublucq a month before the deadly wreck, prosecutors said.

Judge Julia L. Scrogin formally sentenced Sangha on Monday in Yuba County Superior Court.
Sangha accepted a plea deal to avoid prison time. As part of the deal, prosecutors agreed not to seek jail time, but Scrogin imposed incarceration anyway.

Sangha’s sentence includes five years of probation and victim restitution. He faces up to three years in prison, if he violates the probation terms. Sangha is forbidden to drive a vehicle, except going to and from work, according to court records.

Coublucq was sentenced to five years probation and his driver’s license was suspended.

CONTACT Rob Parsons at rparsons@appealdemocrat.com or 749-4785. Find him on Facebook at /ADcrimebeat or on Twitter at @ADcrimebeat.


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