Toronto Police have released more details, including the victims’ ages and that the driver was under a driving ban, for the triple fatal collision in the city’s Mimico neighbourhood.
On Thursday, emergency crews responded to the area of Lake Shore Boulevard West and Superior Avenue shortly after 5:30 p.m. for reports of two pedestrians struck by a white SUV.
A 36-year-old man driving a white 2020 Cadillac XT6 was travelling at a high rate of speed as it approach the intersection and did not stop for the red light, police said.
Police said two pedestrians, a 75-year-old man and a 43-year-old woman were crossing within the marked crosswalk and with the right of way at the intersection from the northwest corner when they were hit.
The vehicle then rear-ended an unoccupied, parked flatbed truck on the southeast side of the intersection that was part of a construction site, police said.
Three people were pronounced dead on scene — the two pedestrians and the driver.
Police have not released the names of the pedestrians struck or the driver, but friends and neighbours who frequently saw the two walking together identified the pedestrians as 75-year-old Kenneth Arkwell and 43-year-old Kelly Hamilton.
Hamilton was a mother to three children, a GoFundMe page started to raise funds for her funeral and children said.
Police said the driver, which Global News has learned was named Omar Downey, was under a Canada-wide criminal code driving prohibition, a provincial driver’s licence medical suspension and an additional administrative provincial driver’s licence suspension.
According to investigators, the driver was not the registered owner of the SUV. Global News has learned it was registered to Downey’s girlfriend.
Police did not disclose the reason behind Downey’s prohibition from driving. However, Global News has learned that in August 2017, Downey was convicted in Toronto of failing to provide a breath sample and was sentenced to a one year driving ban.
In 2019, Niagara Regional Police charged him with dangerous driving after they attempted to arrest him for trafficking drugs. He tried to flee, causing damage to two police cruisers.
In March 2020, Downey was charged again with failing to provide a breath sample.
The charges of the last two incidents were unclear.
Meanwhile, video has surfaced on social media following a minor collision at Lake Shore Boulevard West and Eighth Street, near Islington Avenue.
Toronto Police Supt. Scott Baptist told reporters at a press conference on Friday it was about 15 minutes before the fatal crash, at 5:15 p.m., when the driver of the Cadillac had a minor “side-swiped” collision with a white 2007 GMC Savanna van that was parked.
Baptist said people in the area went to assist the driver of the Cadillac and reported to police that the driver “was having a seizure and was unresponsive.”
The window to the Cadillac had to be smashed in order to open the door for the driver, police said.
Police said emergency personnel attended first prior to officers arriving.
The video from social media shows firefighters speaking to the driver of a white SUV, who then manages to get back into the vehicle and drive off eastbound on Lake Shore Boulevard West.
Global News analyzed the licence plate in that video which matches the licence plate seen on the white SUV that crashed a couple kilometres east at Lake Shore Boulevard West and Superior Avenue. Police have now said it is the same vehicle.
Investigators are asking anyone with information or video footage of either collision scene to contact police.
— with files from Kabi Moulitharan
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