The snowplow that killed police Sgt Ryan Russell two years ago was driven straight at the officer’s cruiser, reversed and then lunged forward again, a jury was told Feb. 6.
The trial of Richard Kashkar, which began Feb. 4, has now brought to light the harrowing story of that tragic morning.
A tow-truck driver and police officer took to the stand to describe their efforts to save the 35-year-old officer. The driver, Herculano Pereira, decided to follow behind Russell and 46-year-old Kashkar, after he heard the snowplow was hitting cars.
He then explained how the plow turned around to face Russell’s cruiser. Russell reversed his vehicle and then stepped out. The snowplow drove into Russell’s cruiser, reversed, adjusted and then came back for more. This time Kashkar had struck the officer.
Pereira witnessed Russell walking backwards as he tried to escape his attacker. His legs were hit by the plow and his body spun around helplessly.
Pereira told an Ontario Superior Court Jury how the officer was bleeding from the head as he lay face down on the ground.
Toronto police officer Sarah Andrews described what it was like seeing Russell’s body. She and her partner rushed to his side after receiving a call to “assist PC.” She remembers seeing a lot of blood and she felt a hole when she put her hand behind Russell’s head.
Russell’s wife and other members of his family could be heard weeping in the courtroom, the Toronto Star reports.
Kashkar, who is charged with first degree murder and dangerous driving has pleaded not guilty.
The trial continues today.
Sources: Toronto Star, CBC