Friday, March 13, 2009

Mom dies in teen's arms

Chris Doucette - Toronto Sun

A teenage girl narrowly escaped serious injury only to be left holding her dying mother in her arms after they were both struck by a truck while crossing a street in the northwest corner of the city early yesterday.
Toronto Police believe the mother, 58, and daughter, 14, were heading home to Scarborough shortly before 7 a.m. when they were hit by the roll-off bin truck just steps from a TTC bus stop on Steeles Ave. W. at Pine Valley Dr.
"It's absolutely tragic," Sgt. Tim Burrows said at the scene.
"For a 14-year-old girl to lose her parent is (hard) enough," he said. "But to actually witness and be holding her mother when she passes away in her arms is something nobody should have to go through."
The mother, who may have worked a night-shift nearby, was crossing with her daughter from the north to the south side of Steeles in the marked pedestrian crossing on the east side of Pine Valley, Burrows said.
They were hit by a southbound truck hauling a steel bin filled with waste as it made a left turn from Pine Valley to go east on Steeles.
"When they reach about the midpoint of the road, the pedestrians leave the crosswalk and start moving on a diagonal towards the TTC shelter," Burrows said. "It was at that point they were actually struck."
The mother suffered massive head injuries.
"She took the brunt of the collision," Burrows said.
The daughter suffered only minor injuries.
In a desperate attempt to keep her mom alive, the teen administered first aid -- with help from the trucker -- until paramedics arrived.
But the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
"It's unimaginable what the daughter must be going through," Burrows said.
She and her mom likely didn't see the truck coming because they had their backs to it, he said.
And the trucker -- who drives for NRD BiProducts Ltd. out of Hillsburgh, near Orangeville -- may not have seen them because it was still dark.
The dead woman, whose name was not immediately released, has family in South America.
A man who identified himself as the teen's biological father rushed to the scene to be with the devastated young girl, Burrows said.
The truck driver was also "badly shaken," the officer said. No charges were laid.
Police are urging witnesses to call them at 416-808-1900.

Editor Note: The truck did not have any materials in the bin at the time of the collision.

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