Little girl killed in London, Ont. crash remembered as ‘brilliant and vivacious’

Click to play video: 'London, Ont., mourns death of 8-year-old girl struck by vehicle'
London, Ont., mourns death of 8-year-old girl struck by vehicle
WATCH: A group of Girl Guides are among those recovering from injuries after a car stuck ten pedestrians in London. An eight-year-old girl died early Wednesday. – Dec 1, 2021

The little girl who tragically lost her life in a horrific crash in London, Ont., earlier this week — which left nine other pedestrians, mostly children, injured — is being remembered by her family as “a brilliant and vivacious little girl with a terrific sense of humour.”

Eight-year-old Alexandra Stemp was “a talented artist who loved her older brother with all of her heart,” the Stemp family added in a statement sent to Global News.

“Our family is devastated by the loss of Alexandra in such a tragic circumstance,” the statement continued.

“Our hearts go out to the Brownie leaders and to the other girls/parent volunteers who are still recovering from their injuries. There is no doubt that the emotional scars from the events of Tuesday night will take much longer to heal than any physical injuries sustained.”

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Alexandra Stemp, 8, was fatally injured in a crash in London, Ont., Nov. 30, 2021. via GoFundMe

London police have said a 76-year-old woman driving westbound on Riverside Drive, approaching Wonderland Road, struck a vehicle stopped at a red light,  continued through the intersection, mounted a curb, hit a light post and a small tree and then struck a group of pedestrians at roughly 6:45 p.m. Tuesday.

In all, ten people ranging in age from six to 40 were hospitalized. The driver did not require hospitalization, according to police.

London police confirmed the following day that an 8-year-old girl had succumbed to her injuries. A woman and five girls were in fair or good condition while a teenage girl and two other girls had been released from hospital, as of Wednesday afternoon.

Girl Guides of Canada confirmed that its members were among the pedestrians involved but did not specify how many of its members were involved.

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Dad Club London co-founder Jeremy McCall says through the club he’s connected to three of the families impacted by Tuesday’s crash, including Alexandra’s father James Stemp.

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“He’s been a member of our group for a long time, even though we’ve kind of lost touch as his kids have gotten older and more busy. He reached out to me last night because we’ve made a donation to their GoFundMe and sent me like a really sincere note of gratitude in the middle of all of their family’s grief.

McCall and another friend will be visiting Stemp Friday afternoon.

“One of the things I said was, you know, ‘these times are so unique and they’re so awful and I just have this overwhelming urge to hug you right now.’ And he said, ‘I’d actually really like that.’”

Of the two other families impacted by the crash that McCall is connected to through Dad Club London, one is a family who recently emigrated from South Africa.

“Both the daughter and her mom were injured. The daughter’s doing OK from what I understand. Mom was having a couple of surgeries.”

The other family had a daughter who suffered a broken leg and broken arm in the crash, as well as cuts and bruises. She’s since been discharged from the hospital, McCall said.

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“They’re home and they’re OK and they just have asked that anyone who wants to support them, support the other families instead.”

While Martha Scott did not personally know the family of the little girl who died, she was moved to action after learning of the tragic events.

“I decided that ‘when you don’t know what to say, do something kind,’” she told Global News.

“I am a mother and my daughter is also in Girl Guides. The story hit me very hard. I felt in my heart that I don’t need to be a family member to have love for this family.”

Scott started a GoFundMe campaign and was able to connect with Alexandra’s mother.

“Last night she sent me Alexandra’s beautiful picture and indicated that they are ready for the public to know the name of their little girl so she can be honoured properly,” Scott explained.

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Mayor Ed Holder has issued a directive to have London City Hall, and other municipal buildings, illuminated in blue in memory of Stemp.

“The colour blue, specifically a blue candle, is a symbol of friendship and togetherness for Girl Guides around the world. While we pay tribute to the young girl, and grieve with her family, I ask that Londoners also keep those who continue to recover in hospital in their thoughts,” he said.

“Londoners who wish to join in this tribute can safely light a blue candle on their porch, or hang something blue in their windows.”

Scott added that there is also a push to have people change their Facebook profile picture to a picture of a blue candle in her memory.

She says she’ll be putting her daughter’s Girl Guide uniform in the window of her house.

The Stemp family added in its statement that it “feels the love and support of our community.

“We wish to express our thanks to everyone that assisted at the scene; we commend you for your heroism,” the statement continued.

“We would also like to express our thanks to the police and emergency personnel for their assistance. To the staff of LHSC, you are heroes. Your compassionate care for our daughter and our family will never be forgotten. We request privacy while we try to heal following this tragedy.”

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The investigation into the crash is expected to take weeks but London police have said no arrests have been made and no charges had been laid as of Thursday.

London police have repeatedly stated that there is no indication this was an intentional act.

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