Girl, 10, killed crossing road in Waterdown
Police seeking witnesses and statements. Rural road was jammed due to Hwy. 403 closure
A 10-year-old girl fatally struck by a car in Waterdown was trying to cross the road in front of her home where traffic had backed up with drivers avoiding a closure of Highway 403.
The crash happened around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday on Evans Road, near Dundas Street, where residents have been complaining about traffic congestion and speeders.
The girl ran in front of a southbound vehicle, Hamilton police said. She died in hospital.
“A 10-year-old girl has lost her life in a tragedy. I can’t imagine what the family is going through,” Det. Const. Matt Hewko of the collision reconstruction unit said Wednesday.
Area councillor Judi Partridge said the “tragic accident” is “just heartbreak for our Flamborough/ Waterdown community.”
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and to her many friends at Mary Hopkins Elementary School where she was a student.”
On the school’s website, principal Jenn George expressed “deep sadness” over the death of Jasmin Hanif, a Grade 4 student.
“We all share in the grief and sadness of having lost one of our students. Our thoughts are with the Hanif family,” the message to parents and guardians says.
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board spokesperson Jackie Penman said a “crisis response team” was at the Mary Hopkins all day Wednesday and noted there will be support staff at the school for the next few days.
Evans Road runs between two main arteries, Dundas Street and Parkside Drive, and has a speed limit of 50 kilometres an hour. It’s both residential and rural, with nearby agricultural operations and older homes on long lots.
There are no sidewalks and neighbours complain the road is a traffic nightmare with frequent speeding motorists using it as a thoroughfare between Dundas and Waterdown.
Hewko said police are aware of these complaints.
The driver who struck the girl, a 25-year-old man, stopped and along with other witnesses and motorists offered medical assistance until paramedics arrived. He was not injured and co-operated with police. He was not impaired. Police are investigating whether speed was a factor, Hewko said.
Neighbour Louie Luis said he was told the girl, who lived with her family at their home along Evans Road, was trying to cross to a neighbour’s house.
Because of traffic backups on the QEW and Hwy. 403 due to a death investigation near the Aberdeen Avenue overpass, many motorists were detouring through Waterdown Tuesday night and it was “bumper to bumper” going north on Evans, he said.
In Waterdown, the girl safely passed through stopped cars in the northbound lane, but was hit by the southbound vehicle as she stepped out into the “wide-open” lane, he said.
Hewko confirmed the northbound lane was moving at a “snail’s pace,” while traffic in the southbound lane was “sporadic.” Police are looking into whether this affected visibility and speed before the collision.
Luis said many young families have moved into the neighbourhood recently and many have lost pets hit by cars. “It’s been horrible.” Mauro Comitale, who also lives in the neighbourhood, made similar complaints, saying he’s called police repeatedly about speeders and traffic on Evans.
Partridge said she’s well aware of the “overwhelming” influx of traffic on Evans Road, especially when there are drivers trying to avoid backups on the highway, adding that the narrow, two-lane road “cannot handle large volumes of traffic travelling at excessive speeds.
“Vehicles routinely use this alternate route to cut through Waterdown putting residents at risk.”
A new Waterdown bypass will divert traffic travelling between Dundas and Parkside away from Evans and is under construction as part of a new subdivision just west of Evans. It’s expected to be done by next spring, Partridge said.
She’s meeting with staff this week to talk about other possible “traffic calming measures” for Evans in the meantime.
A Waterdown Facebook group for mothers noted a memorial service is being held at Isna Canada, 2200 South Sheridan Way, in Mississauga on Thursday. The viewing is at 12:30 p.m. to be followed by the service at 2 p.m.
Hamilton police spokesperson Const. Steve Welton called it a “tragic incident for an entire community.”
“Our thoughts are certainly with the family and friends of the little girl right now.”
This is the city’s ninth traffic death and second pedestrian killed this year.
Hewko described the scene as emotional and chaotic. He would like to hear from witnesses at 905546-4755.
Flowers have been placed at the scene in Waterdown where a 10-year-old girl was struck by a car on Tuesday.