TORONTO - What a horrible confluence of circumstances converged in a predawn snowstorm two years ago.
A despondent homeless man sitting by the window in a downtown Tim Hortons spies a snow plow left idling outside while its driver and his passenger pop in for a bagel and coffee.
Wearing no shoes or socks or jacket, Richard Kachkar runs into the storm and steals the running truck for a one-hour and 51-minute cross-town joyride that will have tragic consequences: Young Sgt. Ryan Russell would be struck and left to die on Avenue Rd. While at home, a little two-year-old boy would wake to learn he would never see his father again.
If only the workers from Tolias Landscaping and Plowing hadn't left the keys in their truck, if only their breakfast order had been ready a few minutes sooner, if only someone had heeded the warnings the bizarre Kachkar uttered just the night before.
But then "if onlys" are always so easy in retrospect.