An eyewitness to a deadly crash that killed a teenager four years ago said the scene looked like “an explosion,” and recalled speaking moments later to the man now charged in the case.
“It didn't look like an accident – it looked like an explosion,” said Gail-Ann Wilson, who testified Tuesday in an Edmonton courtroom.
Wilson told court she was following behind Jeremie LeBlanc’s car that night. She said when the teenager’s car turned left, she saw a cloud of grey and a Mercedes that wound up on the median.
Wilson, who had previously met the accused, Jayant Soni, said she didn’t recognize him when she first pulled over to render first aid.
She said she spoke to Soni moments after the crash about the condition of the teenager in the car that was struck.
“The most profound comment was when we turned to look at the EMS workers attending to that driver – he faced in the direction of the car and said, ‘Oh, my God, I think I just killed that boy,’” she said.
Defense lawyer Brian Beresh disputed Wilson's memory, pointing out that she never mentioned it in police reports or in the preliminary hearing in 2012.
Soni, 35, is alleged to have been behind the wheel of the Mercedes. He is accused of dangerous driving causing death and street racing causing death in the deadly crash.
Soni had previously filed a $200,000 civil lawsuit against LeBlanc’s family, in which he admitted to driving the Mercedes, but blamed LeBlanc for the collision.
Soni later discontinued the claim and is now fighting to prevent the information he provided from being used as evidence in his criminal trial.
The driver of the Lexus pleaded guilty to fleeing the scene of an accident.
‘You hope you’re waking up from a bad dream’
Leblanc’s parents Marc and Pauline are attending the trial this week. They say their lives have been a nightmare since their son was killed in the crash, allegedly caused by street racing.
“You remember his last words.You remember when the police knocked on our door at 3 o'clock to go identify his body. I tell you, that's the last thing I wish on any parent.”
The couple said their son had been on his way to visit his pregnant sister at the Grey Nuns Hospital when he was hit.
She gave birth about seven hours after the LeBlancs identified their son's body.
Additional charge dismissed
Soni originally faced a charge of refusing to provide a breath sample but that was dismissed on Monday because officers took too long to ask for a sample once they suspected he had been drinking.
Pauline LeBlanc is hopeful information now being considered by the judge will be allowed as evidence.
“We still are grieving,” she said. “Nothing is done. Of course we want all the evidence to come out.”