Toronto Star

Pedestrian deaths spark safety warning from police

2 dead, another struck within 24 hours


Toronto police are warning motorists and people crossing the roads not to be complacent when it comes to safety after two pedestrian­s were killed a little more than an hour apart on Saturday night. A third person, a woman in her 60s, was struck around 5 p.m. yesterday while crossing the street in the Lawrence Ave. E. and Don Mills Rd. area, police said. She was taken to hospital with serious but non life-threatenin­g injuries.

“The problem is even when it’s not the pedestrian’s fault, a pedestrian up against a motor vehicle is always going to be on the losing side,” said Staff Sgt. Andy Norrie with Traffic Services.

The two deaths, a young woman and a man in his 70s, were the first two traffic fatalities of the year. In 2007, 51 people died in traffic accidents; 22 of them were pedestrian­s.

In the first fatal incident, 31-yearold Devika Jaikaran was crossing from the south to the north side of Eglinton Ave. E. near Oswego Rd. east of Brimley Rd. when she was struck by an eastbound SUV just before 6:30 p.m. She was with her husband at the time, police said.

Her husband and family declined to comment.

“She works seven days a week,” said one neighbour who didn’t want to be named. “It was work she was coming from,” and she had just gotten off the bus before she was hit, she said.

She was taken to Sunnybrook, where she died from her injuries. The section of the road did not have any signal lights or marked areas for pedestrian­s to cross, he said.

“We are still investigat­ing at this point but we still believe the driver took as much action as he could,” to avoid hitting Jaikaran, Norrie said.

Police reminded pedestrian­s yesterday that it is difficult for drivers to see them after dark.

The second fatality happened at about 7:40 p.m. A 75-year-old man was taking out the trash when he walked in front of a parked car on Sandwell Dr. in the Eglinton Ave. W. and Martin Grove Rd. area and was hit by a van heading north, police said. Again, conditions were dark and the roads were wet, Norrie said. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. “We hope motorists would watch out for pedestrian­s but everyone should be attentive, including pedestrian­s, and whenever possible cross at signalized intersecti­ons or crosswalks.”

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