A driver who fatally struck two pedestrians in Toronto on Thursday night, before being killed in a subsequent collision with a parked vehicle, had several licence prohibitions that should have prevented him from getting behind the wheel, police say.
The driver, a 36-year-old man, was headed eastbound along Lake Shore Boulevard West near Eight Street in Mimico at around 5:15 p.m. when he was involved in what police have described as a “minor sideswipe-style collision” with a parked van.
Police said the driver was having what appeared to be a seizure following the collision.
Authorities said several bystanders attempted to provide assistance, smashing the vehicle’s window in order to gain access to the driver.
Emergency personnel did attend but police said the driver ultimately re-entered his vehicle about 12 minutes later and fled the scene prior to the arrival of officers.
At the same time, a 75-year-old man and a 43-year-old woman were in a crosswalk at Lake Shore Boulevard West and Superior Avenue, about two-and-a-half kilometres down the road from the initial crash site.
Police said the Cadillac was travelling at a high rate of speed as it approached the crosswalk and ultimately struck both pedestrians without coming to a stop.
The driver then slammed his vehicle into the rear of a parked flatbed trailer on the eastside of the intersection.
Police said the driver of the Cadillac and both pedestrians were pronounced dead at the scene.
Police attend the scene of a collision in the west end of Toronto on Thurs., March 31, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Authorities said the driver was under several prohibitions at the time of the crash.
Those prohibitions included a Canada-wide Criminal Code driving prohibition and a provincial driver’s licence medical suspension.
“Traditionally, when we’re investigating a matter we’re generally investigating with the intent of laying criminal or provincial charges against someone at fault. In this case, all the participants are deceased and as a result of that we think it’s important that the public understand that the individual that was driving this vehicle, who caused this collision, was in fact prohibited from driving on any road in this country,” Supt. Scott Baptist told reporters during a Friday morning news conference.
Baptist would not comment on the precise reasons behind the driving prohibitions given to the deceased but he expressed frustration over the fact that he chose to get behind the wheel.
He also said the driver was not the registered owner of the vehicle and suggested that police would be looking into how he came into possession of the Cadillac and whether the registered owner was aware of his driving history.
“That is something that is part of the investigation and if the evidence takes us in that direction, anything is possible,” he said when asked if charges could be laid against that individual.
Police are continuing to investigate the series of collisions and are asking any witnesses who may have seen what transpired or who are in possession of video footage to come forward.
Baptist said that while the officers who responded to the scene on Thursday are shaken up, they are doing “as good as can be expected under the circumstances.”
“It is part of our job but it does take a toll,” he said.
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