The five-year-old girl who was struck and killed by a City of Toronto garbage truck yesterday was described by her teacher and school principal as a "bright and funny little girl" who wanted to become a bus driver.
Ken Samuels, the principal of Cliffside Public School, spoke to media Friday about the girl, who has been identified as Kayleigh Callaghan-Belanger.
"She enjoyed school, she enjoyed her classmates," Samuels said. "Her classmates enjoyed her."
He then read a letter written by Kayleigh's teacher. "Kayleigh was an easygoing child that wanted to become a bus driver…She was proud of her curly strawberry blond hair."
The letter also mentioned that Kayleigh had two little sisters, with another sibling on the way.
Kayleigh was one of four children who were hit by a truck yesterday afternoon near the school at Cliffside Drive and East Haven Drive, which is close to the intersection of Midland Avenue and Kingston Road. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Two other children — a six-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl — were taken to hospital with minor injuries. The fourth child was not injured, police said.
Girl's mother 'devastated', father says
Kayleigh's father, Jacob Callaghan, told reporters the girl's mother is "devastated."
"Her mother, she's devastated obviously," he said. "She's with her other daughters. Kayleigh's sisters, she's just trying to do whatever she can to get through this."
Students, parents and neighbours have been laying flowers and notes just down the block from the school.
Samuels said grief counsellors arrived at the school this morning to talk to the students in Kayleigh's senior kindergarten class.
"Students were upset, staff were upset," he said. "It's a very upsetting day going off into the March break."
Other injured children recovering
He said that the two other children who were hit by the truck are "coming along well."
The accident happened at yesterday about 3:45 p.m. as the children were heading home from the school. Details of what led to the accident remain unclear.
Police say the 62-year-old driver of the truck was turning left onto Cliffside Drive just before three of the children were struck. It's too early to determine if speed was a factor in the accident, police said.
Some parents have expressed concerns about the street where the accident took place, saying that drivers often go too fast in the area.
There is no crossing guard at the intersection, and Samuels said he "wouldn't mind having one."
The driver of the garbage truck had been working for the city for more than 12 years.