Toronto

Jury in longboarder murder trial hears from witnesses

The jury in the second-degree murder trial of a cab driver heard from those who were on a downtown street when a skateboarder was killed.

Witness says she heard 'a crunching sound' after cab hit Ralph Bissonnette

Adib Ibrahim appeared in court Tuesday. He is accused of second-degree murder in the death of longboarder Ralph Bissonnette. (Pam Davies/CBC)
The jury in the second-degree murder trial of a cab driver heard from those who were on a downtown street when a skateboarder was killed.

Adib Ibrahim, 47, is accused of deliberately running down Ralph Bissonnette, 28, who was riding his longboard on King Street East on May 14, 2012. Ibahrim has pleaded not guilty. 

In his opening remarks to the jury September 22, Crown attorney Hank Goody said surveillance footage will show that Ibrahim and Bissonnette exchanged words before Bissonnette was killed.

According to Goody, Bissonnette was straddling the curb lane and the passing lane when Abrahim made an "abrupt and sharp swerve" towards him.

One witness said her attention was drawn to the taxi when she saw the wheels turn abruptly into the curb.

"I heard someone say loudly three times, 'Ow, ow, ow.' Then I heard a crunching sound like something was broken."

Bissonnette was thrown to the curb and his board snapped in two. He was rushed to hospital after the collision, but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Sam Brooks testified he heard what sounded like a car hitting something.

He said he checked Bisonnette's pulse before turning to Ibrahim and asking if he was okay.

"He gestured to the victim and said, 'Look what happened, look what I've done,'" Brooks said. "He seemed very distraught."

Police initially treated the death as an accident, but later alleged Bissonnette was intentionally run over after a verbal exchange with the cab driver. 

Goody said Ibahrim had no reason to swerve other than to target Bissonnette. 

In the coming days, the jury is expected to hear from more people who witnessed the tragic accident.

With files from Michelle Cheung

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