An eight-year-old girl is dead and members of a Girl Guide troop are among those injured after a car slammed into a group of pedestrians in London, Ont., on Tuesday night.
A total of 11 pedestrians were injured and eight were were taken to hospital, some with critical injuries, when a car drove through a busy intersection in the city’s southwest, hitting a group of Girl Guides walking west of the intersection.
The driver is a 76-year-old woman, said Sandasha Bough, a spokesperson for London police. Charges have not been laid but the investigation is in its early stages.
A spokesperson for Girl Guides of Canada confirmed to CBC News that its members were among the pedestrians involved in the collision.
“Girl Guides of Canada is in contact with local volunteers to provide any support we can, and we will help London Police Service in any way possible in their investigation,” the spokesperson said.
Ten female pedestrians, including kids and adults, were injured. Their ages range from six to 40. One adult and four children are in hospital in fair condition. One child is in hospital in good condition, and one teen and two children were treated for minor injuries and released from hospital, police said on Wednesday afternoon.
The news from London, Ontario breaks my heart. To the family and friends of the child who passed away, know that Canadians across the country are here for you. And to those who were injured, we’re wishing you all a fast and full recovery. We’ll be keeping you in our thoughts.
Earlier Wednesday, police provided an update about the crash and said:
- At about 6:45 p.m. ET, a car heading west on Riverside Drive struck a vehicle stopped at a red light. The car, driven by a 76-year-old woman, continued through the intersection, mounted a curb, and struck a light post and tree about 200 metres west of Wonderland Road.
- The car then struck a group of pedestrians, injuring 11 people walking on the north side of Riverside Drive, before coming to a stop on the south side of the street against a tree.
- There is no indication that this was an intentional act.
- The driver of the car remained at the scene. She was not injured in the crash and was not taken to hospital.
- Police are looking to speak to anyone who witnessed the crash. They believe one other vehicle was struck but didn’t stay at the scene and they are looking to speak to that driver.
‘I was in shock’
Witnesses to the crash described a large vehicle travelling at a high speed heading west on Riverside Drive. Multiple people reported the vehicle running the red light at the intersection and crossing the median into McKillop Park on the south side of the street.
“This guy didn’t stop at all,” said Carlos Telero, who was in his vehicle at the intersection. “I don’t know what happened. And he wasn’t driving slow.
“And right after this car, a cloud of parts and pieces. I was, like, shaking, and I was in shock.”
Other people said they heard the crash and immediately rushed to the scene, where emergency vehicles were arriving in great numbers.
“We were sitting down for dinner, then we heard a crash,” said a man who lives across the road from McKillop Park on Riverside Drive.
“That’s when we heard some people screaming and then called 911. And then from that point on, it was pretty much just ambulances showing up for the next probably 30 or so minutes.”
WATCH | Police update on deadly crash:
The identity of the girl who died has not been released.
The London District Catholic School Board issued a statement saying the collision “has impacted a member of our community.” The board said it is monitoring the needs of students and “offering support to our community at this time.”
London Mayor Ed Holder and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau both extended their condolences to the families in messages on Twitter.
Premier Doug Ford visited the crash site on Wednesday afternoon.
“My heart just breaks for the family of the little girl who lost her life in this terrible crash,” said Ford in a statement released by his office. “The rest of Ontario is grieving with you during this difficult time.”
My heart breaks for the family of the little girl killed in last night’s collision near Wonderland and Riverside. This is beyond tragic. All Londoners share in this grief. Our thoughts also remain fixated on those still in hospital as we hope and pray for complete recoveries.