An Edmonton man on trial for allegedly killing a teen while street racing filed a $200,000 lawsuit against the deceased’s family claiming the teen made an unsafe turn.

Jayant Soni, 35, has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing death, street racing causing death and refusing to provide a breath sample causing death.

The Crown is alleging that Soni was racing his Mercedes-Benz against a driver in a Lexus north along 66 Street about 11:30 p.m. on April 23, 2010, and the two vehicles struck a 1999 Oldsmobile Alero, being driven by Jeremie LeBlanc, 16, which was turning east on 31 Avenue.

LeBlanc, who was on his way to the Grey Nuns Hospital where his sister was giving birth, died of his injuries.

On Wednesday, Crown prosecutor J.P. Quenneville and defence lawyer Brian Beresh argued over whether the lawsuit, which was filed in April 2012, but discontinued in August 2013, should be admissible as evidence at trial.

In the statement of claim, Soni alleged LeBlanc collided with his Mercedes-Benz and caused him injuries after negligently and carelessly making a left turn when he knew or ought to have known it was unsafe to do so.

In a statement of defence filed on behalf of LeBlanc’s father Marc and the deceased’s estate, the allegation of negligence was denied and it was counter alleged that Soni was himself negligent for racing with another vehicle while driving at twice the posted speed limit.

Statements of claim and statements of defence contain allegations which have not been proven in court.

Meanwhile, Const. Michael Durec testified he spoke to Soni at the collision scene and said he identified him as being the driver of the Mercedes-Benz. Durec said Soni became “excited” and started pacing when he saw LeBlanc getting CPR after being extricated from his car.

“He was saying it was not his fault and Mr. LeBlanc had turned in front of him,” said Durec.

On Tuesday, paramedic Bill Huget testified he noted a strong odor of alcohol on Soni’s breath when he spoke to him at the scene and said the accused told him he had drank beer earlier at the Ellerslie Canadian Brewhouse.

In February, Rena Noi Onevathana, 34, was handed a 90-day weekend jail term and suspended from driving for six months after earlier pleading guilty to failing to remain at the scene of the deadly three-car collision.

Source: Edmonton Sun


Last updated on: 2014-11-04 | Link to this post