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Driver charged in crash that killed 2 Centennial college students to appear in court Friday

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Jan 3rd, 2020

A 40-year-old man who police allege got behind the wheel impaired before striking and killing two Centennial college students, just days before Christmas, is expected to appear in court on Friday.

Emergency crews were called to the intersection of Markham Road and Progress Avenue at around 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 22.

Police said the driver was heading east on Progress and through the intersection at a high rate of speed when he lost control of the vehicle, mounted the sidewalk, struck a guardrail and then hit the three pedestrians.

Two of the men, both 19, had life-threatening injuries and later died in hospital. A third man, aged 21, was taken to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

The victims have been identified as Damir Kussain and Wei Jie Zhu-Li by Centennial College. Jun Ji Zhu-Li is the third victim was taken to hospital with serious injuries. All three were international students.

Michael Johnson, from Pickering, was arrested at the scene and is facing nine impaired driving related charges including two counts of impaired driving causing death.

Johnson was denied bail at his first court appearance.

His Friday court appearance will take place the same day a funeral will be held for one of the victims — Damir Kussain.

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