27-year-old Oshawa father charged after fatal hit-and-run in Toronto
The neighbour of 27-year-old Jesse Petroff, who was arrested and charged in connection with a hit and run that killed a 50-year-old woman in Toronto’s north end, says he was surprised when police showed up at the house to arrest him.
Toronto police said they were called to the Dufferin Street and Briar Hill Avenue area, north of Eglinton Avenue West, at around 3 p.m. Monday, on a report that a pedestrian had been struck.
The woman, identified by family members as Isabel Soria, was rushed to hospital in life-threatening condition. She later died of her injuries.
Police said the driver stopped after the collision, got out of his vehicle and approached the woman before driving off at a high rate of speed.
Authorities had released a number of security images of a grey Dodge Ram pickup truck leaving the scene of the crash.
Const. Clint Stibbe said the driver, identified as Petroff, was arrested Thursday night and charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, criminal negligence causing death, failure to stop after an accident causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
Petroff lived in Oshawa in the upper level of a house above Ray Reinson, who described him as easy-going, soft-spoken and a good neighbour.
Reinson said Petroff worked as a concrete former and that he was a doting dad to his one-and-a-half-year-old son, of whom he had partial custody.
Reinson saw the news about the hit and run and thought the picture of the suspect vehicle looked like Petroff’s.
“I thought, well that’s interesting. That looks like Jesse’s truck. But then afterwards, I thought nothing of it because I figured that Jesse only works in Durham Region and what would he be doing in downtown Toronto at that time of day?”
Reinson said he never inspected the vehicle himself for damage, but did notice one change.
“The next day, his truck was driven front first into the driveway, which I thought was unusual because he always backed his truck up in the driveway.”
Three police officers from the traffic services unit showed up to the house, Reinson said, and waited for Petroff to show up Thursday night.
“A truck pulled up in front of the house, which I believe somebody was dropping him off,” he said.
“Suddenly the police officers tried to approach the truck. The truck took off at a high speed down the street. Then 10-15 minutes later, the police car came back after chasing the truck and Jesse was in the back seat. They opened up the door, Jesse got out of the car in handcuffs.”
Petroff was scheduled to appear in court on Friday. He is due back on Monday.
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