Witness to Irvine Jubal Fraser’s death tells Manitoba court ‘there was nothing I could do’

The trial of a man accused of killing Irvine Jubal Fraser continued on Wednesday.
The trial of a man accused of killing Irvine Jubal Fraser continued on Wednesday. John Woods/The Canadian Press

The trial of the man charged with second degree murder in the death of a Winnipeg bus driver continued Wednesday with testimony from a University of Manitoba worker who witnessed Irvine Jubal Fraser’s final moments.

Brian Kyle Thomas has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Court heard from Kim Defries, who was working clearing snow at the U of M near the bus loop in the early hours of Valentines Day, 2017.

She had just parked near the university’s quad when she noticed a struggle in her rear passenger mirror, she said.

READ MORE: Video footage shows bus driver Irvine Fraser being spit on, muffled sounds of struggle

Defries saw the bus driver, Fraser, holding onto a smaller man, she told the courtroom.

She said she expected Fraser to take the other man down, but saw the smaller man make swinging motions with his right hand until eventually Fraser stumbled backwards to the bus and fell to his knees.

Story continues below advertisement

Defries ran to help Fraser, she said, with her coworker following Thomas in his front end loader. However, as soon as she got close, she said “there was nothing I could do.”

READ MORE: Trial begins for man accused of killing Winnipeg transit driver Irvine ‘Jubal’ Fraser

A Winnipeg Transit driver who witnessed the altercation between Fraser and Thomas teared up when he took the stand, saying he was frustrated he couldn’t help the slain man.

The driver said he was parked at the exchange just before 2 a.m. when he saw Fraser’s out of service bus pull up in front of him.

The driver said he ran over to help his fellow Transit colleague, but noticed the blows he thought were punches were actually stabbing motions, and saw the smaller man wielding a knife — it’s blade reflecting under the streetlights.

He said he yelled to stop, then ran back to his parked bus when the man with the knife began walking towards him.

He told the court he closed the bus doors and called 911, but the man stood outside the doors for about 30 seconds before running east down Dafoe away from the scene.

The Crown said Thomas fatally stabbed Fraser that night after the latter kicked him off the bus at the end of its route.

Story continues below advertisement

The trial is expected to run til the end of next week.