Elite squash player Adrian Dudzicki was biking to the National Squash Centre when he was struck and killed by a car.

A young squash star was killed on his way to practice when a driver ran a red light and struck him as he used the crosswalk Speeding in a black BMW, a 23-year-old man, entered a busy intersection six seconds after the light turned red, dodged a truck and struck a cyclist crossing the road.

The cyclist, 23-year-old Adrian Dudzicki, was a promising squash star on his way to practice in November 2013. He died immediately at the Sheppard Ave and Kodiak Cres. intersection.

Aleksey Aleksev was found guilty of criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death. But in an unusual step, he was also found guilty of manslaughter.

In his ruling, Superior Court Justice Gary Trotter said the Crown argued at the start of the trial that this case should be considered manslaughter because the evidence will show it is more serious than a criminal negligence case.

“In the future you may be seeing more and more of these cases as manslaughters, as opposed to just driving offences,” Trotter quoted the Crown John Rinaldi as saying.

However, Trotter said he did not see why both a criminal negligence charge and a manslaughter charge were necessary, since they both essentially amount to the same thing. Both charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison. Since the law does not allow multiple convictions for the same act, Trotter will need to determine which charge Aleksev will be convicted of and sentenced on.

That will be determined at the sentencing hearing scheduled for June.

Aleksev testified during the trial that he reached down to adjust the heat or the radio as he approached the intersection.

“The combination of speed and distraction created a real hazard,” Trotter found. “Without braking, Mr. Aleksev drove around the truck and into the intersection, completely blind to what or who was on the other side. It could have been anybody – an elderly pedestrian, a group of school children, members of the Armed Forces going to work or a parent pushing a stroller. It was Mr. Dudzicki on his bike.”

In finding him guilty of manslaughter, Trotter found Aleksev showed a “wanton and reckless disregard for the safety and lives of others.”

Lawyers have said there is a trend towards harsher sentences for impaired driving cases, as highlighted in the Marco Muzzo case.

However, a manslaughter conviction in this case may be unlikely to lead to a longer sentence than a criminal negligence causing death conviction.

In a recent case heard at the same courthouse, where a driver struck a man with his car leading to his death, a jury found the driver guilty of both manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death.

The judge chose to sentence the driver on the criminal negligence charge, since there were no similar cases with a manslaughter conviction. The sentence would have been the same either way, she said.

The only difference is that there might be a slight stigma associated with the term, says defence lawyer Boris Bytensky, who was not involved in either case.

“I don’t know that in the big picture it is going make a difference.”

Source: The Star


Last updated on: 2016-05-20 | Link to this post