A motorist accused in the death of an Ottawa cyclist and professional squash player in 2013 was in court on Monday for the opening day of a trial that will determine whether he is to blame for the crash.

Adrian Dudzicki, 23, was hit by a vehicle on the morning of Nov. 20, 2013 near Sheppard Avenue and Kodiak Crescent.

According to emergency officials, he suffered a serious head injury and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Aleksey Aleksev, who was 20 at the time, was charged with criminal negligence causing death and manslaughter. He pleaded not guilty.

On Monday, the court heard details about the crash that killed Dudzicki, including the speed of the black BMW Aleksev was driving at the time.

Three of the four witnesses who testified said the BMW ran a red light and was travelling at high speed.

“It would be safe to say…the BMW was doing 90 kilometres plus,” said Roland Grieber, one of the witnesses. “It was very fast.”

But through cross-examination, the defence suggested the car was only travelling at 7 km/h over the speed limit and that the witnesses were just guessing the speed of the vehicle.

Dudzicki’s father was also in court on Monday and was visibly shaken by the reminders of his son’s death.

“He was my best friend ever,” said Jaroslaw Dudzicki said outside the courthouse. “It’s just unbearable pain and time seems like it doesn’t heal it.”

The squash player, who was born in Italy and raised in Ottawa, had been training in Toronto. He was riding his bicycle to the National Squash Academy at the time of the incident, Squash Canada said.

Dudzicki had joined the Professional Squash Association World Tour in 2008, and had ranked as high as 136 on the PSA rankings. In 2012, he reached a career high of number nine in the Canadian men's open singles ranking.

With a report from CTV Toronto's John Musselman