Remington Latanville is visibly distraught thinking about the last few moments of 24-year-old Peggy Shao’s life.
Latanville, a 20-year-old business student at York University, was driving away from the campus south on Sentinel Road near Assiniboine Road at 4:20 on Tuesday afternoon when she saw a body lying on the street.
“I jumped out of my car and I started screaming for somebody to give me a cloth or a shirt, and I started soaking the blood from her head and then she started to breathe,” Latanville said.
“I was just telling her it’s okay and I just sat their with her when she was just having her last few moments.”
Latanville didn’t know that the woman lying on the road was a pedestrian struck mid-block by a minivan. She thought at first the woman had been shot because of the blood coming from her head.
Emergency crews responded to the scene around 4:30 p.m. and transported Shao to a trauma centre in life-threatening condition, where she later died.
The driver of the minivan remained at the scene. Police said the investigation is still ongoing and no charges have been laid.
Adam Varro, also a York University student, heard the crash and ran to the vehicle in an effort to console the driver.
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“She said that she had no idea that she’d hit anyone,” he said. “She didn’t see anyone. She was very confused and upset.”
Varro said that the driver appeared to be in her twenties and could have possibly been a student. He called the scene “horrific and sad.”
Friends of Shao told Global News that she was a Chinese national in Canada on a student visa and was completing her masters degree in Financial Accountability.
Prior to York, she studied at McMaster University.
Shao had just left her student residence and was heading to a friend’s house off campus at the time of the incident.
Her parents are back in Dalian, China and are now making arrangements to come to Toronto to pick up the body of their only child.
Shao is the fifth pedestrian fatality in Toronto in just under a week.
Two men were struck and killed hours apart last Friday, and a 33-year-old woman and her five-year-old daughter were fatally struck Wednesday night on Warden Avenue near Ellesmere Road as they attempted to cross the street mid-block.