The aunt of one of four victims killed in a fiery two-vehicle collision in Brampton Monday evening said he had his whole life ahead of him before it tragically ended.
“It’s a very difficult time for everybody and we’re still processing what’s going on – trying to support each other,” Hillyard told Global News as she reflected on her 24-year-old nephew Brian McGinnis’ life.
“He had a good job, his family, good friends, a wonderful relationship, and now it’s gone.”
McGinnis, his girlfriend 22-year-old Lauren Bouchard and her sister 16-year-old Michelle Bouchard were driving home from Thanksgiving dinner when their car collided with another vehicle, Hillyard said.
Emergency crews were called to Gillingham Drive and Bovaird Drive West, near Hurontario Street, just before 8:45 p.m.
Forty-nine-year-old Calisto Mendonca, who also died at the scene, was traveling westbound on Bovaird Drive in a 1998 Pontiac Trans Am when it somehow crossed the centre median and collided into a 2016 Kia Soul carrying McGinnis and the Bouchard sisters.
A visitation for Mendonca has been scheduled for Friday in Brampton and a funeral service has been scheduled for Saturday.
Dawn Barristo was standing outside of a nearby bingo hall when the crash occurred.
“(The Trans Am) hit that car and everything went into flames – everything. You couldn’t see the cars. You couldn’t see if there were people in them,” she said, adding those present at the time “were just screaming because it was just so fast and so bad.”
“I’m thinking that 10 minutes earlier they were saying Happy Thanksgiving to their family and now they’re gone. It’s terrible.”
A GoFundMe page has been launched to support the families of three victims
Meanwhile, Const. Mark Fischer said collision investigators are looking at a number of factors which may have contributed to the crash including speeding, vehicle malfunction, distracted driving or possibly a medical issue.
“It is very shocking and sad and tragic. It’s unbelievable what happens to the families now involved that experienced a loss after a lovely Thanksgiving Day,” Fisher said.
Police are looking to speak with anyone who may have witnessed the crash or shot video of it, or who may have interacted with the drivers prior to the collision.
Anyone with information is being asked to call police at 905-453-2121 ext. 3710 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.
Catherine McDonald and Cindy Pom contributed to this report