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Grandparents killed in wrong-way crash on Hwy. 401 identified


A 60-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman killed in a wrong-way crash on Highway 401 earlier this week have been identified by the Consulate General of India in Toronto.

"Heartfelt condolences on tragic loss of Indian nationals Mr. Manivannan, Mrs. Mahalakshmi & their grandchild in the Highway 401 collision," the consulate wrote in a post on social media Friday afternoon.

According to the post, the consul general had met with the family at the hospital and "assured all possible assistance."

"We are in touch with Canadian authorities," the consulate said.

The three-month-old boy and his grandparents were travelling in a Nissan Sentra on the eastbound lanes of the highway in Whitby on Monday when the collision occurred. Before the crash, Durham Regional Police officers were in a high-speed pursuit of a suspect cargo van travelling west on the eastbound lanes.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which is probing the actions of police in the April 29 incident, said the infant's parents were also in the Sentra with them at the time. They were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, the 21-year-old driver of the cargo van was pronounced dead at the scene, while a 38-year-old male passenger was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.

According to the SIU, the incident began at an LCBO store in Bowmanville, where Durham police were called for a robbery. The male suspect fled the scene, but officers followed him through numerous streets and on Highway 401.

The conduct of police has been under scrutiny following the fatal collision, with many questioning why officers continued to chase the suspect vehicle as it was going the wrong way on the highway.

"We understand there are many questions, however there is a legislated process regarding investigations conducted by the SIU that our service must adhere to," Durham police said in an April 30 statement, adding that they were fully cooperating with the investigation.

The SIU has designated two subject officials and four witness officials. Seven investigators, a forensic investigator and a collision reconstructionist have been assigned to the case.

With files from CP24's Joshua Freeman and Joanna Lavoie Top Stories


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