Toronto father in hospital with severe injuries following alleged road rage attack – Toronto

Last Friday, Magda Szozda’s day as a florist started out like every other day, at the shop. But then she received a phone call no wife ever wants to receive.

“I got a very strange phone call from one of my neighbours saying that Justin has been run over,” Szozda told Global News one afternoon, in front of her building.

Moments before the call, her husband — Justin Smith — was at the Westway Plaza near Kipling and Dixon, picking up chicken burgers and french fries for her and their two young boys, when he spotted a car parked in a fire route. Smith says he told the driver he should “probably move his car,” then got into his own car to drive home.

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“[The driver] didn’t say anything back to me,” Smith told Global News from his hospital bed. “So I really didn’t think anything of it.”

But the driver began to follow him, he says, pulling up beside him at an intersection where they exchanged heated words, then following Smith to his apartment parking lot.

“I kind of knew it was on now,” said Smith. “This is not going to end nicely.”

Smith says he tried to enter his building on foot through the front entrance where there might be more witnesses in case anything went down. But the driver, undeterred, stepped on the gas and sped towards him.

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“I just had this thought of, it’s gonna go around me, it’s not going to hit me — and it’s so fast. It literally was just so fast,” said Smith, still visibly shaken.

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“I remember hearing the engine rev and him coming into me, but even in that millisecond before the car created the impact … you just don’t believe someone’s going to drive a car right into you.”

Smith says he grabbed his leg in the moment and realized his “whole shin was just flattened.”

“It was just chaos, blood-curdling screams, it was the most intense, excruciating pain I’ve ever experienced in my life,” said Smith.

The driver, with a cracked windshield, fled the scene. Smith was sent to hospital with severe injuries, including to his leg and wrist. Doctors, he said, told him recovery would take up to nine months and that he may never walk normally again. A massive blow to his family, because the full-time Canada Post mail carrier and part-time uber driver is the primary breadwinner of the household.

“I try to do what I can to support my whole family, to make sure that my wife gets to do the easy stuff,” Smith told Global News, his voice breaking. “I don’t even know if I can do both of those jobs six to nine months from now.”

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Etobicoke father of two boys in hospital recovering from severe injuries after a road rage attack.


Magda Szozda

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Etobicoke father of two is recovering in hospital from severe injuries following a road rage incident that ended with a car plowing into him.


Magda Szozda

Szozda says between bills piling up, at-home responsibilities, taking care of their sons and her concern over her husband in hospital, the pressure is heavy.

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“It’s terrifying because we pay rent,” said Szozda. “And if we can’t pay rent … I want him to come home, but I also want him to have a home to come home too,” she said, wiping away tears.

Toronto police say they’re now investigating the incident as an assault with a weapon — the weapon being the vehicle — and are looking for two suspects: a Black male (the driver) and a white female who was in the front passenger seat of the car. Police describe the car as a silver, four-door Honda Civic. Police say video surfaced revealing the suspects, but declined to divulge to Global News how the video surfaced.

Meanwhile, Smith says he’s still trying to process why someone would do this to him when they were in the wrong in the first place.

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“Your decision, thought process, whatever you want to call it — is to go and run somebody down with your car to potentially kill them?” said Smith, shaking his head. “What is this world coming to?”

Szozda says she’s just grateful her husband is alive, but pleads with others prone to road rage, to think twice before reacting.

“Just count to five, calm down,” said Szozda. “Just think of where they’re going. They’re going home to someone, to loved ones, they’re going home to their kids.

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“They just want to go home. Let them.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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