TORONTO – The driver of a vehicle has been charged after a 4-year-old girl was struck and killed in Markham Thursday afternoon.
Gowry Somasekarampillai, 39, of Markham faces charges of dangerous operation causing death and dangerous operation causing bodily harm.
York Regional Police say the victim was walking with her 7-year-old sister when both of them were hit just before 2 p.m. by a black Mercedes SUV at Fieldside Street and Riverwalk Drive near the David Suzuki Public School where both children attended.
“One of the children was rushed to hospital, the 4-year-old with life-threatening injuries. Sadly that child has succumbed to their injuries at hospital,” Const. Andy Pattenden told reporters on Thursday.
The 7-year-old was taken from the scene and remains in hospital with serious injuries.
A family member told Global News on Friday the 4-year-old was described as “an angel.”
Neighbours who knew the victims say the children lived just steps away from the school.
Residents say speeding has always been a major concern in the area.
“All the neighbourhood complains about this. We need some kind of barrier. Some stop signs here or there. Nobody listens,” said area resident Manjit Uppal.
Residents nearby also say the intersection where the children were hit lacks a stop sign.
“I’d like to see speed bumps put in. At least it will deter people speeding on the road,” said Karen Quan King Thompson, whose 5-year-old daughter goes to a Catholic school across the street from David Suzuki Public School.
Others suggest perhaps another crossing guard is needed in the area.
“Sometimes when I’m walking I can see that people are a little impatient. They try to edge in. They try to cut you off while walking sometimes,” said parent Jennifer Robles.
“I told my neighbours and they said they weren’t surprised cause they said that people around the neighbourhood tend to drive really fast here.”
The accused is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 26.