Two pedestrians killed in a crash involving an alleged impaired driver on Sunday evening have been identified as international students at Centennial College.
A third victim, who was injured, was also an international student at the school, Centennial College confirmed.
“All three victims are international students with us, and they were staying in our Progress Campus residence over the holiday break,” Centennial College vice president academic and chief learning officer Dr. Marilyn Herie said in a statement.
“Two students, who are brothers, are from China and the third is from Kazakhstan.”
Police said officers received a call at 6:30 p.m. reporting a vehicle had struck pedestrians at Markham Road and Progress Avenue. The pedestrians were on a sidewalk on the south side of Progress Avenue, officers said.
Police allege the driver of the vehicle was travelling eastbound on Progress Avenue at a high rate of speed.
The driver allegedly lost control of the vehicle, and it struck the curb by a bus stop before hitting the three pedestrians.
All three victims were taken to hospital. Two of the victims, identified as 19-year-old men Wei Jie Zhu Li and Damir Kussain, later succumbed to their injuries.
The third victim, 20-year-old Jun Je Zhu Li and brother to Wei Jie Zhu Li, is believed to have injuries that are not life-threatening, police said.
“There is never a good time to give that news to a family member that your loved ones are not coming home. It’s even more devastating coming into the holidays,” Duty Insp. Stacey Davis told reporters at the scene.
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Herie told reporters Monday that the school is reaching out directly to the family of the students to see if there is anything they can do to help.
Herie also said the college is offering “every support” to any student who may be impacted by the incident.
“Just think about how devastating this tragedy must be for their families so far away,” she said.
Police said 40-year-old Michael Johnson is now facing nine charges, including some involving impaired driving. The accused wept at points during a bail hearing Monday afternoon. His wife also sobbed as the defence argued for his release and in the end it was unsuccessful.
Johnson was remanded into custody until Jan. 3.
— With files from Catherine McDonald and Nick Westoll