Friday 17 August 2018

Driver held after van hits pedestrians in Toronto

Authorities said at least seven people were treated in hospital.

The scene in Toronto
The scene in Toronto

By Charmaine Noronha

A van has apparently jumped a kerb at a busy road junction in Toronto and struck eight to 10 people and fled the scene before it was found and the driver taken into custody, police said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the van to strike the pedestrians in the north-central part of the Canadian city. Police did not immediately identify the driver.

Authorities said at least seven people were treated in hospital while a photo from the scene showed an apparent body on the pavement, but police did not provide details on casualties.

“At this point it’s too early to tell what if any motive there was. We are also unable right now to tell the extent or the number of persons injured,” Toronto police spokeswoman Meaghan Gray said.

A witness,” Phil Zullo, told Canadian Press that he saw police arresting a man who had been driving a Ryder rental truck and saw people “strewn all over the road”.

“It must have seen about five, six people being resuscitated by bystanders and by ambulance drivers,” Mr Zullo said. “It was awful. Brutal.”

Paramedic spokeswoman Kim McKinnon said first responders were on scene treating multiple patients, but would not confirm the number or severity of injuries.

Police shut down the Yonge and Finch junction following the incident and Toronto’s transit agency said it has suspended service on the subway line running through the area.

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Justin Trudeau expressed his sympathies for those involved

The incident occurred as cabinet ministers from major industrial countries gathered in Canada to discuss a range of international issues in the run-up to the G7 meeting near Quebec City in June.

Prime minister Justin Trudeau expressed his sympathies for those involved. “Our hearts go out to everyone affected,” he said in Ottawa.

“We are going to have more to learn and more to say in the coming hours.”

Press Association

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