Crown to appeal deadly driving case
TORONTO STAR PHOTOS
Alexander Ryazanov and Wang-Piao Dumani Ross
pleaded guilty to dangerous driving of
causing death after they crashed into a taxi
on Mt. Pleasant Rd.killing the driver.
Will challenge conditional sentences of two men
whose high-speed antics left a cab driver dead
2007 04:30 AM
Queen's Park Bureau Chief
The Crown will appeal the widely
criticized sentences given to two Toronto men
involved in a high-speed crash on Mount Pleasant Rd.
that killed taxi driver Tahir Khan.
Wing-Piao Dumani Ross and his
friend, Alexander Ryazanov, both 20, were sentenced
May 29 by Justice John Moore to 12 months of house
arrest and two years probation after pleading guilty
to dangerous driving causing death.
"We're in the process now of serving
the materials and filing the materials and until
that time cannot discuss the terms of the appeal and
the issues facing the court," Attorney General
Michael Bryant said in an interview yesterday,
adding the legal paperwork should be filed soon.
The decision to appeal comes at a
time of rising concern over carnage resulting from
street racing and other forms of aggressive driving.
Last week, truck driver David Virgoe
died in an accident on Highway 400 allegedly caused
by street racers. And last month, two Toronto
teenagers were killed when the taxi they were riding
in was hit by a speeding stolen car driven by
15-year-old Chevon Josephs, who also died in the
On Jan. 24, 2006, Ross and Ryazanov
were in their parents' Mercedes-Benz cars driving
north on Mount Pleasant toward Ryazanov's home in
the Bridle Path area. They were travelling at speeds
of up to 140 kilometres an hour in a 50 km/h zone.
At about 10:20 p.m., Ryazanov's car
T-boned Khan's Diamond taxi as the cabbie was
turning left onto Whitehall Rd., crushing it into a
The Pakistan-born Khan, 46, just
three days shy of receiving his Canadian
citizenship, was killed instantly.
"It was an exercise in speed and bad
judgment, not criminal intent, that resulted in the
death of Mr. Khan," Moore said when he handed down
the sentence last month.
While Moore also imposed 150 hours
of community service on Ross and Ryazanov and
prohibited them from driving for four years, some
suggested their families' wealth insulated them from
The maximum sentence for their crime
is 14 years in prison and the Crown had been seeking
three-year prison sentences.
"I wonder if the situation had been
reversed: If it was two cab drivers racing up Mount
Pleasant and they hit a kid driving his father's car
... whether the cab drivers would be getting 12
months house arrest?" Diamond Taxicab general
manager Jim Bell said last month. "I don't think
Bryant, a long-time outspoken foe of
street racing, has warned that would-be Grand Prix
drivers better keep it on the track because the
province will confiscate and destroy their cars.
"Just on the balance of
probabilities, if we can establish that a car is
being used for the unlawful purpose of street
racing, we will seize it and you will never see it
again," he said last week after Virgoe's death.
"We will crush your car, we will
crush the parts."
In Kitchener earlier yesterday,
Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory had noted
the appeal deadline was looming in the Ross and
Ryazanov sentencing and urged Bryant to act quickly.
NDP MPP Peter Kormos (Niagara
Centre) had also been critical of the Liberals for
not immediately appealing the sentence that had city
talk radio hosts buzzing in outrage for days.