Friends, family remember 2 men killed in Boxing Day crash in Pickering

2 men killed in fatal head-on crash in Pickering on Boxing Day
WATCH ABOVE: The two men were complete strangers, but they shared similar stories. Catherine McDonald reports.

Less than 12 hours after a deadly head-on crash in Pickering, dozens of friends and family members of the men killed happened to meet on the shoulder of Taunton Road. The victims did not know one another, nor did their loved ones, but they came together searching for answers as to what caused the fatal collision Monday night.

“It’s sad – it’s just unpredictable,” said one of the victim’s friends, referring to the fact that both men killed were of Sri Lankan descent.

At around 11:30 p.m. on Boxing Day, police were called to a four-vehicle collision on Taunton Road, south of Altona Road. Witnesses told police a Honda Accord, which was travelling westbound in the passing lane, crossed the centre lane into eastbound traffic and collided head-on with a Toyota Corolla.

The driver of the Honda and the Toyota died at the scene.

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Friends said 35-year-old Satheesh Loganathan was the driver of the Honda Accord and family identified 21-year-old Atheesh Balasubramaniam was the driver of the Toyota Corolla.

Loganathan moved to Canada about six years ago for a better life, friends said. He worked two or three jobs at once and was saving money to bring his wife to Canada.

On the night he lost control of his vehicle, Loganathan was working as the on-duty manager at Charley Ronick’s pub in Whitby. His co-workers were shaken by the news of his sudden death and told Global News he closed the bar at 11 p.m. Monday, adding he never drank while working.

Just 30 minutes later, it would be Loganathan’s car that veered into oncoming traffic killing himself and Balasubramaniam, who was driving the car he struck head-on.

Balasubramaniam’s brother Nirojan said Atheesh was a compassionate, hardworking man who was working two jobs while finishing off his business degree at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa.

Earlier in the day, Atheesh worked a job at Fido Solutions in Oshawa before stopping by the family home in Ajax for dinner with his dad before heading out to meet friends in Scarborough. It was while travelling back to Ajax, just 10 kilometres from home, that Balasubramaniam’s car was involved in the fatal collision.

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Police are now trying to figure out what caused Loganathan to lose control.

“The officers at scene said the roads were wet they weren’t icy. It was was windy (and) it was approximately 5 to 6 degrees at that time,” Durham Regional Police Staff Sergeant Glenn Courneyea told Global News, adding weather and alcohol aren’t believed to be factors at this point.

Police will be examining both cars and cell phones and said autopsies may also shed light on what caused the crash.

Anyone with information about the collision is being asked to contact police at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5267 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.