Impaired driving charges have been laid against a 19-year-old man in connection with a deadly multi-vehicle collision in Richmond Hill over the weekend.
Emergency crews were called to the area of Yonge Street and Townwood Drive at around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday for a four-vehicle crash.
Officers said they have since determined that a white Mercedes struck a grey Hyundai, a red Toyota Sienna van and a white Mazda at the time.
One of the vehicles involved flipped over and subsequently caught fire, police said. Images from the scene showed debris scattered along the roadway as officers conducted an investigation into the collision.
Debris from a deadly collision in Richmond Hill on August 18, 2019 is seen. (CTV News Toronto)
The 44-year-old male driver of the white Mazda was pronounced dead at the scene. He was a resident of Richmond Hill and his name has not been released by officials.
Two passengers of the Mazda, a 40-year-old woman and a 12-year-old boy, were transported from the scene to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver and passenger of the white Mercedes were both taken to hospital with minor injuries.
The driver of the grey Hyundai also went to hospital to be treated for minor injuries. The two occupants of the red Toyota did not sustain any injuries in the crash.
A vehicle involved in a deadly collision in Richmond Hill on August 18, 2019 is seen. (CTV News Toronto)
On Monday, police said the driver of the white Mercedes had been charged in connection with the deadly collision. Fereidoon Hayatibahari, of Richmond Hill, is now facing six charges, including impaired driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death.
He has since been released from hospital and appeared in a Newmarket courtroom on Monday afternoon wearing a white prison-issued jumpsuit.
The case was put over until Wednesday morning.
Witnesses ‘rushed to assist’
Police said witnesses of the incident rushed to the help those involved in the crash.
“I would like to express our gratitude to members of our community who rushed to the scene to provide aid to the injured following the collision,” York Regional Police Chief Eric Jolliffe said on Monday. “This is a tragic loss for this family and our community as a result of impaired driving.”
“This behavior is unacceptable and keeps happening despite our ongoing efforts.”
Officials are seen investigating the scene of a deadly crash in Richmond Hill on August 18, 2019. (CTV News Toronto)
A woman, who witnessed the aftermath of the crash, said a neighbour rushed to help those stuck inside the vehicles before emergency crews arrived on scene.
“I was terrified,” Manisha Orya said. “It was so scary and so loud. The sound of the explosion and the smoke – it was terrible.”
“The neighbour tried to flip the car and take those guys out. They were OK, they were alive. There was lots of smoke in the car and they were trying to get out of the car and the neighbour helped them get out and they were just lying down on the grass.”
Martin Brown was one of the witnesses who jumped in to help and described the scene as “heartbreaking.”
“They had pulled a young girl out and I helped him bring her up here (out of the ditch) and we laid her down here,” he said. “She had abdominal pain.”
“You could see where the seatbelt made marks from the impact across her stomach and I think that’s where her injuries came from.”