Toronto Hydro waives payment for downed light post after shooting incident
Devante Taylor has spent more than two months in hospital after a shooting left him paralyzed from the neck down.
His mother, Venetia Tulloch has been by his side every day since the incident, but five days after the shooting, the mother of three said she received a letter in the mail from Toronto Hydro seeking payment for damage to a light post that happened during the incident.
“[The letter] was talking about the light post that was damaged or broken… they are seeking payment for the light post,” she said, adding that she wasn’t even sure at that point if her son would survive.
“My son was in critical care then, so when I got this letter I thought how cold [could] these people be?”
On Jan. 15, police responded to a collision near Kipling Avenue and Henley Crescent, but when they arrived they found Taylor in the vehicle with a gunshot wound to the neck.
Taylor’s three-year-old nephew was in the backseat of the car but was unharmed.
Toronto Hydro said letters are automatically sent out after infrastructure is damaged and added since they became aware of the details around the damaged pole earlier in March, they will no longer be seeking payment.
“The circumstances of this are just terrible. When we were made aware of it, it was very concerning to us. It’s very serious what happened to this young man and his family,” said Tori Gass, spokesperson for Toronto Hydro.
“Once we found out the details of this case. We just closed it automatically, there will be no cost, even to the insurance.”
Gass said Toronto Hydro does often seek payment for damaged infrastructure.
“We do have a lot of drivers that for numerous reasons – weather, careless driving, and drunk driving – they collide with our infrastructure and there are costs to that,” she said.
“We have an obligation to recoup some of that cost otherwise that would be passed along to rate payers… In this instance, absolutely not.”
Toronto Hydro said they can wave payments depending on the details around the damage but that is determined on a “case by case basis.”
Tulloch had not been informed Toronto Hydro would no longer be seeking payment, but said she happy with their decision.
“I’m happy that they looked into it and see that it shouldn’t happen,” she said.
Toronto Hydro said they will be looking in possible changes around improving process.
“It does give us an opportunity to look at our process to see if we can improve that to make sure we are not causing additional stress to customers and in this case look at what the follow up was,” Gass said.
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