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Friday, March 08, 2013

People all over Toronto mourn 5 Year old 'beautiful child, Kayleigh killed by Garbage Truck In Scarborough


TORONTO - Five-year-old Kayleigh Callaghan-Belanger was steps away from her Scarborough school Thursday afternoon when she was run down and killed by a city garbage truck.
“She was a beautiful child and an extraordinary big sister,” her grief-stricken step-dad Dryden White told theToronto Sun last night.
“We just got her report card," White said. “Her birthday was last month.”
“What happened today was just a tragedy,” he said. “It was just careless.”
The accident has devastated a family during what should be a time of joy — Kayleigh’s mom is expecting and will deliver a child any time now.
“She has two sisters and one on the way,” White said.
The tragedy has left the family broken and searching for answers.
Why was a garbage truck, according to some witnesses, racing along a residential road, so fast that Kayleigh’s body was several feet behind the truck when it stopped, on a street with a 40 km/h speed limit?
“She was literally two minutes from her school,” her step-dad said helplessly. Kayleigh went to nearby Cliffside Public School.
Toronto Police Const. Clint Stibbe said the crash happened at 3:45 p.m. in Cliffside Dr. just east of Kingston Rd. A city garbage truck travelling westbound on East Haven Dr. turned southbound onto Cliffside Dr. striking three of four children crossing the street.
Two of the children, a five-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, suffered minor injuries. Five-year-old Kayleigh died at the scene.
Several witnesses said the 62-year-old garbage truck driver jumped from the cab after the crash and fell to the ground after seeing the children. He was transported to hospital after the incident.
Liam Middleton said he was leaving a doughnut shop about 50 metres away from the crash seconds before it occurred.
“This garbage truck came flying by the corner,” Middleton said. “I just thought it was going really, really fast. A second later I heard a really strange banging sound. Then I heard screeching tires. I ran over to see what happened and I saw three (children) lying on the corner.”
Stibbe said the police traffic reconstruction team is investigating and will perform a mechanical inspection on the truck.
“I can’t make any comment about speed,” Stibbe said. “That hasn’t been determined at this point. It’s still far too early in the investigation to determine if speed is a factor.”
Cindy Harlow brought her two young girls, Ceara and Raylea, to the accident scene to lay bouquets of flowers in memory of Kayleigh. She didn’t know the young girl, but teared up as she talked about the incident.
“It breaks my heart, not only for the parents of the children but also for the driver himself who has to live with this for the rest of his life.”
Mayor Rob Ford issued a statement shortly after the incident and promised the city would do everything it could to assist the families.
“This afternoon, I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn that three children were struck, one fatally, by a city garbage truck,” Ford stated. “It’s with a heavy heart that I extend my deepest condolences to the victims during this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers, and I’m sure those of every parent in Toronto, are with the children, their families and friends.
“We will do everything we can to assist the families. The city will co-operate fully with the investigation.”
- With files from Don Peat
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