4 men arrested in connection with Toronto hit-and-run that left 29-year-old woman dead

Click to play video: 'The parents of Erin Yoxall speak out exclusively to Global News'
The parents of Erin Yoxall speak out exclusively to Global News
WATCH: As Catherine McDonald reports, the Scottish family is devastated by the senseless death of their daughter, killed in a downtown Toronto hit-and-run. – Apr 20, 2022

Police have arrested four men in connection with a hit-and-run collision in Toronto that left a 29-year-old woman from Scotland dead.

On April 14, officers with the Toronto police were called to the Spadina Avenue and King Street West area for reports that a pedestrian had been struck by a vehicle.

Officers said the collision occurred at around 3:16 a.m.

Police said the woman was “within the southbound lanes of Spadina Avenue,” when she was struck by a vehicle driving “at a high rate of speed.”

She was taken to hospital with “life-threatening injuries.”

Officers confirmed she was pronounced dead in hospital on Saturday.

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The woman’s family have identified her as Erin Yoxall from Scotland who had been living in Canada for eight years.

According to police, the driver of the car — a white Mercedes AMG GT convertible with a red interior — fled the scene.

The suspect vehicle was located on Monday by officers.

In a press release, police said that on Tuesday, three men were arrested.

According to police, 41-year-old Sinesha Bogojevic from Toronto, 44-year-old Milorad Nikolic from Mississauga and 37-year-old Zachariasz Billik of Toronto were arrested.

Officers said they were each charged with failing to stop at the scene of an accident causing death, public mischief and obstructing police.

Sources tell Global News the three accused were charged in connection with allegedly trying to hide the Mercedes.

Police said they appeared in court on Wednesday.

According to police, 42-year-old Ertug Direk surrendered to officers on Tuesday.

Global News has learned the accused also goes by the surname Direkoglu.

Police allege he was the driver of the vehicle.

He has been charged with dangerous operation causing death, failing to stop at the scene of an accident causing death, public mischief and obstructing police.

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The accused was also charged in 2014 in connection with an investigation wherein York Regional Police seized more than $500,000 worth of cocaine in what was called Project Tugboat.

In relation to Project Tugboat, court records show that Direkoglu pleaded guilty to five charges and was sentenced in June 2016 in relation to being a commercial drug trafficker. He was sentenced to eight years in prison, less three years pretrial custody, leaving a sentence of five years. He also was given a weapons ban for life.

He appeared in court Wednesday afternoon. He is expected to appear again on April 22.

Officers said the investigation is ongoing, adding that there are believed to be “several other parties who assisted the alleged driver” after the collision

“Subsequent arrests are anticipated,” the police press release reads.

Officers are urging anyone with information to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

Erin’s parents — Roseanne and Anthony Yoxall  – said when they received the call in Edinburgh that their daughter had been struck by a vehicle in Toronto, it was “torture.”

However, Roseanne said she was thankful for how the hospital rallied around her daughter until they arrived from Scotland.

Anthony Yoxall holds his daughter Erin Yoxall’s hand in hospital after she was struck by a vehicle in Toronto. Family / Provided

Anthony shared a photo he took in the hospital, on the morning he said goodbye to his daughter.

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He said the photo has helped to bring him some closure.

Anthony said when people see the photo he hopes people know that there is accountability for their actions.

“Some selfish, unrighteous person did something without even any concept of (the) effects on people.”

He said he and his wife are “devastated.”

“Now we have to look at our future and change our lifestyle and everything that we need to do,” he said.

Anthony said their beloved daughter gave them both “heartache,” and “enjoyment.”

He said Erin would return to Edinburgh every Christmas.

“When she’s with us it’s a great joy,” he said. “And that’s the part we’re going to miss so much because we only got to see her once a year.”

He said Erin “made her home in Toronto.”

“She embraced the city,” he said.

Anthony said she was working for the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

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“She took a master’s (degree) at University of Toronto, and she had great things going for her,” he said. “That has been taken from her, taken from us, and taken from all the people that support her. She was in such a great position, and that’s just been ripped from our hearts and our life.”

According to the Yoxalls, Erin had attended a party with a friend on the night she was hit. She was walking home early Thursday morning when the collision occurred.

Her parents said before the accident, Erin had decided on her own to become an organ donor. Her donation is expected to help around 20 people.

“Erin was an incredible individual,” Roseanne said. “Very bright and very forward-thinking. She would have been furious with me if we had ended her life and she would have considered all those options as absolute wasteful.”

The Yoxalls said they will remain in Canada for their daughter’s funeral and to help clear out Erin’s apartment.

Click to play video: 'Family identify woman killed in Toronto hit-and-run as Erin Yoxall, 30, of Scotland'
Family identify woman killed in Toronto hit-and-run as Erin Yoxall, 30, of Scotland

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