Two sisters and boyfriend among 4 killed in Brampton crash
Published Tuesday, October 11, 2016 6:33AM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, October 11, 2016 5:12PM EDT
Two sisters are among the four people killed in a devastating crash in Brampton yesterday.
CTV News Toronto has confirmed that 16-year-old Michelle Bouchard, her 22-year-old sister Lauren Bouchard and Lauren’s 24-year-old boyfriend Brian McGinnis were killed when their car became involved in a two-car collision at Bovaird and Gillingham drives Monday night.
According to police, a 1998 Trans Am being driven by a 49-year-old Brampton man crossed a median and collided with the Kia Soul being driven by McGinnis and carrying the two Brampton sisters.
Police said they arrived on scene to find both vehicles fully engulfed in flames.
All four were pronounced dead at the scene.
Family members tell CTV Toronto that McGinnis was driving the Bouchard sisters home from his family’s Thanksgiving dinner in Georgetown when the accident occurred. They said that the couple had been apple picking earlier in the day.
“They were two young people who had their entire futures ahead of them. The world has really lost out. It’s a very tragic loss,” Michelle Hillyard, McGunnis’ aunt, said through tears. “It’s just a reminder that tomorrow is never promised.”
Friends of McGinnis described him as “one of a kind” and said he and Bouchard were a “happy couple” who have been dating for the past three years.
“Where to start, Brian was probably one of the more genuine people I’ve ever met,” Jonathan Bruneau told CTV Toronto. “If you needed help with anything or were short of something he would give you the shirt off his back. He always thought of everybody else before himself. That was just the kind of person he was.”
Bruneau started a GoFundMe for McGinnis and the Bouchard sisters. At time of writing, the page had raised over $2000.
Jessica Fernades was studying early childhood education at the University of Guelph-Humber with Lauren Bouchard. She said they were supposed to graduate together in June.
“She was a kind and sweet person; she never wanted to cause any trouble. She was always there to help, she was understanding and soft spoken and always listened to what others had to say,” Fernades told CTV Toronto. “We were planning to work with kids. It’s really hard to take this in.”
The fourth victim was identified on Tuesday evening as 49-year-old Calisto Mendonca.
“At this point we’re trying to determine why he crossed over the median to strike the other vehicle. That is part of the investigation,” Const. Mark Fischer told CP24.
He said any number of factors, including speed, may have been a factor in the crash. The posted speed limit in the area is 70 kilometres per hour.
“Some of the determining factors could be speed involved. We don’t know at this point if that is the cause,” Fischer said. “It could be speed, it could be distracted driving, it could be a vehicle malfunction such as a tire blowout or a medical condition that would force him to lose control of his vehicle.”
Fischer said police are keeping “all possibilities” open until they have gathered and reviewed all the evidence.
Video taken by witnesses at the scene shows bystanders trying to reach the victims, but unable to access them because of the intense flames.
Early Tuesday, the vehicles were removed from the scene, but pieces of the vehicles melted onto the roadway were still visible.
Investigators are now appealing for the public's assistance in the case. They are calling on anyone who may have witnessed the collision, may have video footage of the incident or who may have information regarding the actions or whereabouts of the drivers prior to the collision to contact police.
Anyone with information about the incident is being asked to call investigators with the Peel Police Major Collision Bureau at 905-453-2121, ext. 3710 or Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
The road reopened at around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.