Three pedestrians, including toddler, injured in Scarborough hit-and-run
Bryann Aguilar, CP24.com
Published Sunday, October 13, 2019 11:22AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 15, 2019 10:58AM EDT
Toronto police are looking for three people in connection with an alleged hit-and-run in Scarborough that sent three members of a family, including a toddler, to hospital with serious injuries.
Emergency crews were called to the area of Ellesmere Road and Pharmacy Avenue around 11 a.m. for reports of three pedestrians that had been hit.
Investigators said a grey 2015 Dodge Journey with Ontario license plate ANXC 265 was travelling east on Ellesmere Road and was approaching Pharmacy Avenue.
It is alleged the vehicle drove past a few stopped vehicles, and failed to stop for the red light at the intersection.
Police said the vehicle then mounted the sidewalk, where a 57-year-old woman and a 37-year-old woman were standing with a 20-month baby boy in a stroller.
The three were struck by the vehicle, police said.
The vehicle later stopped on the sidewalk just east where the pedestrians were hit.
Investigators believe two occupants exited the vehicle, walked around, and assessed the scene.
Police said one person got back into the vehicle and fled the scene southbound on Pharmacy Avenue. The other person fled on foot.
“As a result of the impact, the front licence plate of the Dodge Journey became dislodged from the vehicle and was left at the scene,” police said in a news release on Sunday evening.
Toronto police said all three pedestrians with serious injuries when they arrived at the scene.
The child was taken to a trauma centre with life-threatening injuries. On Sunday evening, police said he remains in serious but stable condition.
The two women were also taken to a trauma centre in serious condition.
A man who identified himself as the father of the child told CTV News Toronto that his son is "doing okay."
"He's got a lot of energy. He loves to play, runs around a lot. I'm not sure he will be the same after this," the father, who did not want to be identified. "Right now, he is still in the hospital being monitored, but he is okay."
He said the other two women who were struck by the car were his wife and his mother-in-law. They are both recovering at Sunnybrook Hospital, but he said they don't have any memory of what happened.
"It could have been a lot worse," he said. "Right now, I am shifting my focus more on making sure that whoever is responsible for this is accountable, and they turn themselves in."
"They could have been killed today, and if that was the case, he or she, whoever, left them there to die the way I see it."
Speaking to reporters on Sunday afternoon, Toronto police Insp. Mandeep Mann said that police are in the preliminary stages of the investigation, but that officers are treating the incident "very, very seriously."
"We will identify who that driver was. We will identify who that occupant was that came out of the vehicle," Mann said. "My message to those individuals, both of them and anyone else who was in that vehicle, is to please retain counsel and turn yourselves to Traffic Services."
Police said they are looking for three persons of interest: 49-year-old Cory Munroe, 34-year-old Derek Desousa, and 30-year-old Amanda Rioux. All are from Toronto.
Investigators have released a photograph of who they believe to be one of the occupants of the vehicle.
Mayor John Tory said in a series of tweets on Saturday afternoon that he fully supports an increase in penalties for those involved in collisions with pedestrians and steeper consequences for those who flee the scene.
"We are working as a City to reduce collisions, but drivers cannot act recklessly and must recognize they bear the ultimate responsibility because they are operating vehicles which can inflict such terrible consequences.
"We are working to make our roads safer, including by lowering the speed limit at this intersection and soon enforcing that new limit with automated speed enforcement," the mayor tweeted.
Police closed Pharmacy Avenue and Ellesmere Road for a police investigation.
Police are asking anyone with security video or dashboard camera footage of the area to contact investigators or reach out to Crime Stoppers anonymously.
-with files from Katherine DeClerq and Lexy Benedict