NEWS
10/22/2015 19:06 EDT | Updated 10/22/2016 01:12 EDT

Wife says man who crashed into patio, killing child, was not drunk

EDMONTON — The wife of an Edmonton man who crashed his SUV into a restaurant patio, killing a two-year-old boy, says although he had a couple of drinks that night, he was not drunk.

Gayska Suter told a sentencing hearing on Thursday that she and her husband, Richard, were arguing on May 19, 2013, as he drove toward Ric's Grill, where little Geo Mousef and his family were having dinner.

Gayska Suter said the car was rolling toward the restaurant when she suddenly screamed and he "stepped on the gas."

Richard Suter, 65, has pleaded guilty to refusing to provide a breath sample when there is a death, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

He had originally been charged with impaired driving causing death.

He testified earlier this week that his wife told him she wanted a divorce moments before the crash.

Gayska Suter said that in the immediate aftermath, she heard people screaming: "There's a baby under the car!"

Little Geo died after being pinned against a wall. His parents were also injured, but his five-month-old brother who was strapped in a car seat was unharmed.

Gayska Suter testified her husband "was perfectly sober" after having two drinks in the afternoon and a beer with dinner.

She admitted he was having two or three drinks a day during that period but disagreed with the Crown that alcohol was a problem in his life.

"It was an accident," she testified. "I have to support him."

(CTV Edmonton)