A fatal collision that killed a 15-year-old girl in Pierrefonds-Roxboro has left her family and community shaken and prompted demands for immediate traffic-calming measures in the area.
Anjelica John was headed to her school bus stop, located about 30 seconds from her home when she was struck by a man in his 50s behind the wheel of a vehicle early Thursday morning.
The teen was rushed to hospital in critical condition, with her death confirmed by Montreal police on Friday morning.
Patrick Victor, her uncle, said his loved ones are in shock. He described his niece as someone with a great personality and energy. John was strong, both mentally and physically, even in her last moments, he said.
“We’re all heartbroken,” he said.
Montreal police say they believe the driver lost control when his vehicle careened into a pole before hitting John. He then collided with another car at the intersection of Lalande Boulevard and Saraguay Street.
Investigators are expected to meet with the driver to understand what led to the series of collisions and John’s death.
“It just feels so unreal,” Victor said.
Police have not yet determined the cause of the fatal crash, but citizens are demanding immediate traffic-calming measures on Lalande Boulevard in wake of John’s death.
“I would like to see speed bumps,” said Thomas Woang. “Make a sidewalk, a proper sidewalk for people to walk on or kids to walk on, to bike on.”
Rose Alvarado would also like to see changes. She used to jog on the street, but she said that she had to stop because it was dangerous.
“It’s unacceptable,” she said.
Waiting for answers
Pierrefonds-Roxoboro’s traffic committee will meet next week to discuss the collision that killed John.
Mayor Jim Beis described the situation as “dire and tragic” and said that he is waiting for answers.
“But I’m still waiting for the authorities to reconstruct the accident scene and get back to us and know what exactly happened in that area,” he said. “Was there a loss of control? Was there a distracted driver? Were they speeding? Was there a health issue that contributed to this?
“Once we know the circumstances for this then we will be able to better judge what a solution could look like on Lalande.”
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, however, took aim at the borough Friday.
“I’m heartbroken, of course,” she said. “But I’m upset because the administration in Pierrefonds-Roxboro has been sitting on a plan for five years to fix that road and they didn’t do it.”
Pierrefonds-Roxboro has requested “increased presence” on that road to curb some of the traffic issues in the past, according to Beis.
“We will be meeting with all the stakeholders, whether it be the police, our traffic committee, our experts, our engineers, next week to look at what are some other options for that area to eliminate not only the threat of any situation like this happening again,” he said. “But the impact that it will have in the neighbouring community as well.”
In the meantime, John’s family is waiting for answers.
“It’s not like she’s going to come back,” Victor said. “What’s gone is gone.”
“But eventually knowing exactly what happened will somewhat probably give us some kind of comfort.”