TORONTO -- A 42-year-old mother was on her lunch break at work when she was struck and killed by a vehicle that crashed through a concrete barrier and drove off a second-storey parking lot in Vaughan, Ont.

“She worked hard every day to support me and my brother,” Maria De Simone’s eldest son Joey Mazzucco told CTV News Toronto on Thursday evening.

“She was such a loving, giving, generous person and it was just such a tragic, a tragic accident. It doesn’t feel real right now.”

maria de simone

Just before 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, emergency crews were called to a commercial building located in the area of Keele Street and Rutherford Road for a report of a collision.

“There was a vehicle, a white Audi sport utility vehicle, that was in a second-storey parking lot for reasons that are still under investigation,” Sgt. Andy Pattenden with York Regional Police told reporters at the scene. “The vehicle drove across that parking lot, right over a fence and off the second-storey and in the process struck a female pedestrian.”

Vaughan crash

“It’s quite a scene,” he added.

Pattenden said the vehicle smashed through a concrete barrier and brought down the surrounding metal fence before landing on the other side of the road from where the parking deck is.

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De Simone was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the vehicle involved in the incident, an elderly male, was found at the scene with vital signs absent. He was rushed to a hospital but has since been pronounced dead.

There was an elderly female passenger in the vehicle as well. She sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the incident.

‘She was such a bright light’

When De Simone did not return to work from her lunch break her employer, Frank Caruso, said he became very concerned.

“She didn’t come back so we started calling her phone. She wasn’t answering so then we decided to come back and take a look,” he said. “I noticed that her truck was here.”

“She was just an amazing person. It’s very sad because you couldn’t find a nicer person. She had a great heart. She was such a bright light, always in a great mood, always happy – it’s just terrible, just horrifying.”


Other colleagues of De Simone described her as someone who always had a positive outlook on life and said she would frequently bring in coffee for everyone.

De Simone was the mother of two young boys.

Mazzucco said his mother stayed with him in a hospital room for a whole year after he was diagnosed with bone and muscle cancer at the age of nine.

“She never left my side,” he said.

Mazzucco said his mother’s bright smile will never be forgotten.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, police said.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has any video footage of the area is asked to contact police.