Person struck, killed by garbage truck in downtown laneway may have been sleeping: police
Published Tuesday, January 15, 2019 7:21AM EST Last Updated Tuesday, January 15, 2019 7:42PM EST
Police say a person may have been sleeping in the laneway of a building in the city’s Financial District when they were struck and killed by a garbage truck on Tuesday morning.
Speaking to reporters at the scene, police said early information suggests that shortly before 6 a.m., a garbage truck was backing into an alleyway in the area of Adelaide and York streets when the driver struck a person who may have been sleeping on the ground.
Despite life-saving efforts by paramedics and police, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
The age and gender of the victim have not been released.
“The investigation has just begun. We are obviously in the preliminary stages,” Insp. Jim Gotell told reporters Tuesday morning.
“Obviously a garbage truck is a very big vehicle… the person was obviously hurt very badly, very quickly.”
Gotell said the driver of the truck is currently on scene along with management from his company.
“We’ve spoken to them about getting psychological assistance for the driver. Obviously he is very traumatized by what has occurred. He’s in shock right now so we are making sure he is being taken care of,” Gotell said.
“The first responders are obviously traumatized by what they saw as well.”
A man who identified himself only as Daniel told CP24 that he operates a building in the area and frequently sees homeless people sleeping in the laneway where the victim was struck.
The man said staff will often try to wake up people sleeping in the laneway and ask them to move but sometimes language barriers make it difficult to explain the situation.
“Drivers when they are backing up, they can’t see that angle," he said. "Unfortunately we had this incident that happened."
Members of the collision reconstruction team are currently investigating and officers are asking motorists to avoid northbound University Avenue.
“It is a horrific scene and that’s why we are taking efforts to block as much as we can,” Sgt. Brett Moore told CP24.
Police will be reviewing security video from the back of the garbage truck as part of the investigation.
“We know this is a very busy area. The collision happened likely before businesses were open and so anybody who has the chance now, who has a business in this area, look at your surveillance video,” Moore said.
“Our investigators from traffic services are here and are speaking with some but likely there are other cameras that are available that we are just not aware of yet. Hopefully people can come forward with that information.”
He said the garbage truck company is cooperating with the investigation.
“The commercial motor-vehicle investigators from traffic services will be working with them to look at the fitness of the vehicle. All of those things are in play,” Moore added.