Framed photos of Travis Selje and other items fill the top of a dresser in his bedroom. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Framed photos of Travis Selje and other items fill the top of a dresser in his bedroom. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Accused’s neurologist in fatal Surrey crash trial says epilepsy can bring on amnesia

Surrey woman being tried for traffic crash that killed Surrey teen testified she has no memory of the crash and believes a seizure caused it

A Surrey neurologist who diagnosed Rituraj Kaur Grewal with epilepsy in 2019 and continues to treat her testified Friday that amnesia can be brought on by an epileptic seizure, a concussion or a combination of both.

Grewal, 26, is accused of criminal negligence causing death in the May 3, 2017 crash at the intersection of 64th Avenue and 176th Street in Cloverdale that killed 17-year-old Travis Selje. She had been driving her dad’s Cadillac and was 22 at the time.

Grewal testified last week that she has no recollection of the crash and believes she had an epileptic seizure that caused the collision.

An RCMP forensic expert testified earlier during Grewal’s trial, continuing in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, that the Cadillac was doing 142 km/h in a 60 km/h zone just prior to hitting Selje’s Honda Prelude.

Dr. Gurwant Singh, called as a witness for the defence on Friday, is an expert in the diagnosis, treatment, symptoms and causes of epilepsy. He said seizures can be triggered by sleep deprivation, alcohol withdrawal, and drugs.

READ ALSO: Accused says she knows ‘for sure’ she didn’t deliberately cause fatal Surrey crash

READ ALSO: ‘I believe my seizure caused the accident,’ accused on trial for fatal crash tells court

READ ALSO: Forensic expert says accused’s car was doing 142 km/h in crash that killed Surrey teen

Singh has had five appointments with Grewal. The court heard she is given to convulsive seizures and complex partial seizures and also heard Grewal underwent an MRI scan that revealed an arachnoid cyst compressing the right temporal lobe in her brain.

“The main thing is impaired awareness,” Singh told the court. “They individual would look awake but they look like they are looking at distance and they do not respond to you, so they are not aware what’s happening to them.”

The first witness to approach the Cadillac after the crash testified Grewal was convulsing, her whole body was shaking, and that she was foaming and drooling with blood coming out of her mouth. Singh said that account is consistent with his epilepsy diagnosis. “It fits the criteria.”

He said it wouldn’t be brought on by trauma from an impact. Another witness earlier testified it looked like she’d been having a seizure and told the court her daughter has had seizures so she knows what they look like.

“We can’t assume what happened while she was driving,” Singh noted. “But certainly an individual, if having epilepsy, will lose control and it could lead to the incident that happened.”

The trial continues.

READ ALSO: Surrey cop found ‘crack pipe’ in jacket of accused in crash that killed teen

READ ALSO: Witness testifies car that hit Surrey teen’s Honda was going like ‘a bat out of hell’

READ ALSO: Oxycodone found in blood of driver accused in Travis Selje’s death, court heard



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

BC Supreme CourtSurrey

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

Just Posted

Surrey Police Service cruiser. (File photo)
Surrey Police Service, CUPE sign staff transfer agreement from RCMP to new force

Chief Constable says there will be ‘no disruption’ to police service during transfer

SkyTrain running through Whalley. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Mayors’ Council wants feds to fund Surrey-Langley SkyTrain in upcoming budget

Mayors’ Council on regional transportation sent letter to federal government Monday

Premier John Horgan with drawings of replacement bridge for the Pattullo during a February 2018 presser. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey city staff want to act on council’s behalf for ‘minor’ changes to new Pattullo

The old bridge’s replacement is expected to be open for traffic in the fall of 2023

Spring Break kits available for free at Surrey Libraries branches. (submitted photo)
Free ‘Spring Break Kits’ for kids at Surrey Libraries

Children don’t need a library card to get a kit, but can sign up for one for free

An immunizer prepares to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site. (Fraser Health Authority photo)
North Delta COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open ‘in the coming weeks’

Clinic next to Delta City Hall opens March 15 for seniors 90+, Indigenous people 65+, Indigenous Elders

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

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

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Some of the hundreds of pounds of trash removed by divers last month from Abbotsford’s Walmsley Lake.(Henry Wang photo)
VIDEO: Divers remove 462 pounds of trash from Abbotsford lake

Walmsley Lake dive uncovers several tires, hundreds of drink containers and a tent

Trent Miner is returning to the Vancouver Giants, the team announced. He has been released by the Colorado Eagles of the AHL.(Rik Fedyck/Vancouver Giants)
Trent Miner returns to play goal for Vancouver Giants

Netminder was part of epic 11-game winning-streak by Langley-based team

Most Read