Thursday, October 14, 2010

Witnesses give details of how victim was found

From the Kingston Whig-Standard Online:

By Sue Yanagisawa

Jurors on the second-degree murder trial of Richard E. Smith heard on Wednesday that a call for help was sent from the taxi of the man he's accused of killing, taxi driver David Wayne Krick, approximately 10 minutes after Krick was sent to pick up a fare from the YMCA parking lot on Wright Crescent.

Kenneth J. Osborn, who was dispatching for Amey's Taxi early that Sunday morning, June 17, 2007, testified that the initial call was assigned around 6:30 a.m. And as soon as he saw the flashing "Emergency" indicator on his computer screen, he switched to voice frequency and called for "car 71, car 71," the cab Krick was driving. But he received no response. He said he also asked: "what's your emergency?" which could have been heard by anyone else in the cab if Krick's radio was switched to voice frequency. But there was no indication that message was heard, either.

Osborn said there have been false alarms in the past when a panic button was hit by mistake. But he told jurors he'd always been able to reach the drivers involved. They discover their error, he said, when the system won't let them book into a zone or answer any calls. When that happens, Osborn testified, Amey's drivers are supposed to immediately switch to voice frequency because an emergency alert, once activated, requires the driver of the involved taxi and the dispatch office to work together to deactivate it.

This time, there was only silence from the 50-year-old driver involved, so Osborn said he contacted another driver and asked him to check the Victoria and Durham street area where the panic button on car 71 was activated.

"I was sending other cars in to help," he added, "and I got a phone call from Kingston Police asking about car 71 and Dave Krick."

Osborn told jurors he didn't know how the police dispatcher got Krick's name and taxi number. But the call came in about two minutes after the panic button in his taxi was hit. Consequently, Osborn said he responded by calling up that morning's driving history for car 71 -- only to discover it was on the move again, travelling down Victoria Street.

As Osborn monitored the taxi's progress, relaying updates on its position to police, his recollection was that Amey's Taxi 71 cut over to College Street, drove down toward the water almost to Union Street, and then reversed itself, travelling back up College and over to Brock Street, before finally coming to a stop off Macpherson Avenue.

Amey's Taxi driver Michael J. Hartson had just started his shift around 6:30 a.m. that day. He testified that he picked up his only call that Father's Day around 6:40 a.m., dropping his fare off on the other side of the LaSalle Causeway in Point St. Mark.

It stopped being a routine day for him, however, as he was driving back across the bridge into Kingston's downtown, around 6:50 or 6:55 a.m. by his estimation. It was then, he testified, that a text message appeared on his meter indicating a driver needed help in the Victoria and Park street area.

Hartson testified it took him less than five minutes to drive from LaSalle Causeway to Victoria Street, where he joined two other Amey's cabs in a search of the area.

He recalls following car 34 up Durham Street, observing that, at the time, "we weren't looking for someone on the ground. We were looking for Dave (Krick) walking, or his cab." He suggested that was the reason the driver of car 34 initially missed seeing him.

Hartson, however, spotted someone lying on the south sidewalk on Durham Street, partly on the sidewalk and partly on the lawn of a white bungalow, his head toward a no parking sign. He also recalled that his immediate impression was that "there was a lot of blood."

He told jurors that he radioed Osborn in the taxi company's dispatch office and told him that he was going closer to have a look and then, "I saw it was Dave."

Hartson said he checked for a pulse at Krick's wrist and throat, couldn't feel one and relayed that information to Osborn before returning to see if there was anything he could do

He told jurors Krick was lying on his right side "in a fetal position," with one arm flung out and a closed cellphone in his hand when he first saw him. His eyes were open, and while Hartson was standing there, he said the phone began to ring, so he answered it. The voice on the other end identified itself as police dispatch, he said, and asked for his name and position. Then, almost immediately, he remembers a police cruiser coming around the corner.

Hartson told jurors he helped the police officer, who they later learned was Const. John Stanistreet, to roll Krick onto his back so the officer could begin CPR.

Shelley L. Scott, was driving back from Norman Rogers Airport after dropping off a fare around 6:40 a.m. that same morning.

She testified that she swung down Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard, heading downtown, and noticed an unusually heavy police presence around Van Order Drive. She remembers thinking they were after somebody at just about the same instant she received a text message directing all drivers to Victoria and Park streets.

She remembers going to voice and asking which car they were looking for and being told they weren't looking for a car, just its driver.

Scott testified she'd just started to search on Durham Street when the message came over that Krick had been found and she drove back to assist.

She'd only been part of the Amey's fleet a short time, she testified, and "knew of " Krick more than she knew him. She was upset when she saw the scene, however, and recalled that as she approached, the officer on the scene told her to go back to her car.

Scott said she actually started to walk away and then "I said, 'wait a minute, I know CPR', " and she returned to assist Stanistreet, forcing air into her fellow driver's lungs while the police officer performed chest compressions.

Stanistreet told the jury he'd been dispatched at 6:53 a.m. that morning to help find a cab driver who'd been stabbed in the Park and Victoria streets area.

He remembered that it was only a short time after receiving that message that a second one came through indicating the missing driver had been found in front of 14 Durham St.

Stanistreet's recollection was that he was the third person to arrive on the scene rather than the second, however. He testified that he checked Krick for a pulse, found none, and the woman who was already there initiated CPR. He said he joined her, performing chest compressions until an ambulance arrived. He didn't know anything about the woman and man who remained to help, however, not even their names. He recalled that the man told him David Krick's name, "but I don't know how they knew each other," he said.

Copyright © 2010 The Whig Standard

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