Witnesses deny street racing in crash that killed teenager Jeremie Leblanc

Two witnesses at the trial of a man accused of killing an Edmonton teenager in an illegal street race told court they can’t fully remember what happened the night of the crash, but claim the vehicles were not racing.

Two witnesses at the trial of a man accused of killing an Edmonton teenager in an illegal street race told court they can’t fully remember what happened the night of the crash, but claim the vehicles were not racing.

Jeremie Leblanc, 16, was on his way to visit his sister in hospital when his Oldsmobile took a left turn on 66 Street, near 31 Avenue, on April 23, 2010.

The car was struck by a Lexus and a Mercedes Benz; Leblanc was killed in the crash.

On Tuesday, Tom Sirikoon testified he was a passenger in the Mercedes being driven by defendant Jayant Soni when the crash happened.

Soni is charged with dangerous driving causing death and street racing causing death.

Sirikoon admitted he told a preliminary inquiry that Soni was not speeding or racing that night.

He said he could not recall much else about the collision.

The driver of the second vehicle also testified that he had gaps in his memory about that night.

Rena Onevathana, who earlier pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of the accident and received a 90-day sentence, said he was driving his girlfriend’s Lexus.

He told court he was not racing but was forced to swerve around a car that turned in front of him.

He testified he didn’t hit the car, but could not explain damage to the Lexus.

In response to several of the Crown’s questions, Onevathana said he could not remember details about the night. He said others were in the car, but he could not recall who.

He told court he fled from the crash scene because he was frightened.

The Crown is expected to wrap up its case Wednesday.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.