Messages of condolence and grief continue to flow after the death of an eight-year-old girl, fatally injured on Tuesday evening after she and nine others were struck by a vehicle that drove up the sidewalk in western London, Ontario.
Community leaders and residents of the London area, as well as local, provincial and federal politicians, including the Prime Minister, were among those who expressed their support in the wake of the tragedy, which occurred around 6:45 p.m. along Riverside Drive west of Wonderland Road.
London, Ont. Accident – 8-year-old girl dies, Girl Guides of Canada members among affected pedestrians
“It is more than tragic. All Londoners share this grief. Our thoughts also remain fixated on those who are still hospitalized as we hope and pray for a full recovery,” London Mayor Ed Holder said in a posted tweet. shortly before noon.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford expressed similar sentiments, with Trudeau tweeting that the news from London “breaks my heart.”
“To the family and friends of the deceased child, know that Canadians across the country are there for you. And to those who have been injured, we wish you all a speedy and full recovery. We will keep you in our thoughts, ”he said.
In a statement, Ford, who was due to arrive in London late Wednesday afternoon to visit the crash site and lay flowers, said his heart had broken for the family of the girl who died.
“The rest of Ontario grieves with you during this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are also with those who have been injured as I wish their full recovery. “
Erin O’Toole, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, said in a tweet that it was “heartbreaking to read this tragic loss of life.”
“I can’t imagine the devastation that family and friends are feeling today. Know that all of Canada is in mourning with you, ”he said.
At least 10 pedestrians aged 6 to 40 were injured, and several were taken to hospital by paramedics, including the girl who later died, police said.
In a statement, Girl Guides of Canada confirmed that its members were among those involved. No further information was provided and no follow-up requests were returned.
The Thames Valley District School Board confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that four of its students, including the eight-year-old who was fatally injured, were among those injured.
“On behalf of Thames Valley, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the families, friends and community members who have been touched by this sad event,” said Mark Fisher, TVDSB director of education, in a statement. “We are also grateful for the actions of our first responders and hospital staff. “
“Members of the board’s traumatic event response team have been dispatched to affected schools to provide direct support to students and staff.
Separately, the London District Catholic School Board confirmed that one of its students at Notre Dame Catholic Primary School was among the injured and in hospital.
In a letter sent home to parents in Notre Dame, the council said the student was walking with her group of guides when she was hit.
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“The student remains in the hospital and is currently in stable condition,” the letter said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our student and his family at this time. An event like this can be difficult for a nearby community like ours. Please do not hesitate to contact the school if you think your child would benefit from speaking with an adult here at the school.
In an update early Wednesday afternoon, police said at least four children and one adult remained in hospital in fair condition, while one child was hospitalized in good condition. A teenager and two children sustained minor injuries and have since been released from hospital.
The 76-year-old driver behind the wheel of the involved vehicle was not injured in the crash, police said.
Police said a preliminary investigation revealed the motorist was driving westbound on Riverside Drive when she collided with a stopped vehicle at a red light in Wonderland. Riverside Drive slopes down towards the intersection, but the cause of the initial crash is unclear.
The vehicle crossed the intersection, climbed onto a sidewalk, struck a light pole, struck a small tree, and then struck a group of pedestrians walking east on the north side of Riverside, police said.
Investigators said there was no indication that it was an intentional act. It is believed that a second vehicle may have been hit as well, and police are asking that driver to come forward.
“My heart goes out to the family who lost their young daughter in this tragic accident and I pray for the rest of those who are recovering,” said Arielle Kayabaga, MP for London West, the constituency where the collision occurred, in a tweet.
“Strengthen families and our #LdnOnt community as we deal with this. “
Other politicians in the London area, including MPs Teresa armstrong and Stone Fragiskatos, as well as the deputies Monte McNaughton, Peggy sattler and Terence kernaghan were among those who issued statements of support, with Fragiskatos calling the incident an “unspeakable tragedy”.
“Our community will keep the family in our minds and continue to hope for the recovery of those who are still hospitalized. Thanks to the police and all the first responders for their continued work, ”he said in a tweet.
No arrests had been made and no charges were laid on Wednesday afternoon, police said.
“This is an ongoing investigation. It may take some time as officers from the traffic management unit continue to gather evidence and figure out exactly what happened, ”Const said. Sandasha Bough.
Anyone with information is urged to contact London Police or Crime Stoppers.
– with files from Jacquelyn LeBel, Andrew Graham and Ryan Rocca.
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