Girl, 14, killed by dump truck on her way to Toronto school
Teen struck while crossing at intersection
A Toronto high-school student was killed on the first day of the new school year after she was struck by a dump truck on Tuesday morning.
Police said Violet Liang, 14, was hit at the intersection of Sentinel Road and Lamberton Boulevard — south of Finch Avenue West and west of Keele Street — just before 8 a.m.
A 41-year-old man driving a Mack truck northbound on Sentinel had been turning left onto Lamberton. Liang was crossing Lamberton, on her way to nearby C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute, when she was struck by the truck.
Paramedics performed CPR on the teen but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Toronto District School Board director Donna Quan offered condolences to the family and said counsellors would be at the school Tuesday to help support students and staff. C.W. Jefferys principal Monday Gala called Liang a "fantastic student" in her second year at the high school.
The road was closed Tuesday as police continued their investigation. They are also asking any witnesses to come forward. No charges have been laid.
A board spokesperson said that Liang was killed on the day before her 15th birthday.
Hanna Tran told CBC News that she was Liang's best friend. She remembers being the new kid at school and said Liang was the first to welcome her.
Police are reviewing video that was captured by a security camera that is mounted on a nearby house.
That homeowner, Vo Nguyen, told CBC News that the video does not capture the truck hitting Liang, but it did record the moments after the truck had turned.
The girl's death came as thousands of students were busy returning to school for the start of the school year and on the same morning Toronto police had launched a safety blitz to remind drivers to slow down and obey safety rules.
Speaking a few hours after the incident, Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals called it "a difficult start to the school day" and reminded drivers to take extra care now that summer is over and students are back in school.
"Kids are enthusiastic at this time of year and we as adults need to be the ones that are watching for the little kids."
Prior truck fatality
Six months ago, a collision involving a garbage truck claimed a student's life in east-end Toronto, at Cliffside Drive and East Haven Drive.
The crash last March killed five-year-old Kayleigh Callaghan-Belanger. Three other children survived the same collision.
The garbage truck driver was later charged in that incident.
In the wake of that deadly incident, Coun. Gary Crawford asked for a review of garbage truck operations.
Following Liang’s death on Tuesday, he said the city needs to continue studying what it can do to ensure students are safe on their way to school.
That could include looking at when garbage trucks can drive through school zones.
"It brings back what happened with young Kayleigh and what the city needs to do," Crawford said, referring to the fatal incident on Tuesday morning.
With files from The Canadian Press and a report from the CBC's Jeff Semple