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Mother of 2 killed in tragic accident as vehicle veers off elevated parking lot

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Jul 10th, 2020

A young mother of two was among two people killed in a bizarre accident in Vaughan on Thursday.

York police say a vehicle crashed through a fenced barrier and went over the edge of an elevated parking lot off of Keele Street near Rutherford Road around 1:30 p.m.

A young woman, described as a mother of two, was in the parking lot taking her lunch break when she was struck and killed.

The driver of the white SUV which ended up striking a pole on the other side of the road was taken to a trauma centre with no vital signs and pronounced dead. The second passenger in the vehicle was also taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Frank Caruso, who owns the company where the young woman worked, called it a heartbreaking tragedy.

“This morning I was with her and she was in a great mood, just in a great place in her life,” Caruso told reporters outside the business which manufactures furniture for hotels. “Her presence in the front office was amazing.”

“Everybody loved her. She was at the front desk in the reception area and everybody loved her.”

“She was such a bright light and always in a great mood and always happy. It’s just horrifying.”

Police say they are investigating all potential causes for the crash including the possibility that the elderly driver may have suffered a medical incident.

Police are asking anyone who may have dashcam footage of the incident or anyone who may have information on the driving behaviour of the vehicle prior to the collision to contact them.

Raptors VanVleet knows hardship small businesses face during pandemic

LINDSAY DUNN | posted Thursday, Jul 9th, 2020

The Toronto Raptors are on their way to Orlando Thursday but fan-favorite Fred VanVleet has Canada in his heart and on his mind. He ventured into the small business world a few years ago as he is one of many of the Raptors who have their own clothing line. Even though he isn’t in Toronto he is encouraging people to support small businesses in their community during the pandemic.

“I own my own small business so it definitely hits home for me,” VanVleet told CityNews from Florida. “I know what it takes to run a small business. I know the challenges that come with that, the hustle and drive that you have to have to keep up. It’s so important for me to spend, and to shop small. It’s something that I just live every day, it’s is something I believe in.”

VanVleet recently teamed up with American Express for their Shop Small campaign and even though he hasn’t been in Toronto in a few months, he wants to make sure the city is taking care of each other.

“That’s one of the things I love about Toronto’s is the small businesses and you know, it just gives the city a culture and a vibe. Because of the year that we’ve had 2020 hasn’t been kind to anybody. I’ve seen personally, how Canada and especially Toronto, come together, we saw last year when we won.”

“One of the most incredible moments of my life was that parade. And just the people celebrating so if I can try to get some of that energy going with the people and encourage people to shop small and to spend the money with businesses that they love. They can recirculate those funds and get the economy going and help people that are in need and these business owners, you know, have probably taken a big hit this year.”

There is one place, in particular, he has been missing in Toronto.

“I really miss my barber right now,” VanVleet said with a laugh. “Shout out to my barber Brian at Throne Barbershop, I’ve been missing him since I haven’t been able to be in Toronto for almost four months now.”

Before flying to Florida, the 26-year-old was in self-quarantine with his girlfriend and their two kids. He admits it was the longest he has ever been at home since he was a kid.

“It was nice. I was able to be there all day every day, every second. I got to help with the baths and the lunches and putting them to bed. We got a lot closer over that time which made it even hard to leave.”

The Raptors were in the Fort-Meyers – Naples, Florida area for the last two weeks before immersing themselves in the NBA Bubble in Orlando, where they hope to defend their title. During that time his teammate Kyle Lowry didn’t speak to the media and no photos were taken of the veteran NBA All-Star.

“No comment, no comment, I can’t comment on his whereabouts,” VanVleet joked. “He’s here, no worries. Raptors fans will be happy when they see him lace-up with us.”

The Raptors will host the Los Angeles Lakers when their season resumes in Orlando on August 1st.

Police make two more arrests in shooting death of Toronto woman

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Jul 9th, 2020

Police have made two more arrests in connection with the shooting death of a Toronto woman back in March.

Two women were found with gunshot wounds in a home on Murray Avenue in the area of Brimley Road and Sheppard Avenue East on the morning of March 13.

Theepa Seevaratnam, 38, died in hospital of a gunshot wound to the chest. The second victim suffered non-life threatening injuries.

On Tuesday, police arrested Gary Samuels, 27, of Oshawa and Vijendran Balasubramaniam, 42, of Toronto and have charged each of them with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Steadley Kerr, 28, was originally arrested by police at the end of March and charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder. Those charges are expected to be upgraded to first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder when he makes his next court appearance on July 23.

Inside the world of contact tracing

THE BIG STORY | posted Thursday, Jul 9th, 2020

In today’s Big Story podcast, if Canada is going to keep COVID-19 under control, contact tracing and tracking will have to play a huge part in it. You hear about contact tracing in every interview or article about controlling the virus—but how does the process actually work?

Who are the people tasked with the often difficult job? How do they deal with people who are scared or angry to hear from them? How many cases can be missed before an outbreak looms? And as Canada prepares for a second wave…do we have enough of them to handle what’s coming?

GUEST: Aaron Hutchins, Maclean’s

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle and Spotify

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

Cyclist killed in hit-and-run in Mississauga

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Jul 9th, 2020

A cyclist is dead after being hit by a tractor-trailer overnight in Mississauga.

Peel police were called to the intersection of Hurontarion and Dundas streets just before midnight on Wednesday.

The cyclist, believed to be in his 40s, suffered critical injuries and was rushed to hospital where he later died of his injuries.

The truck fled the scene and police say it’s possible the driver doesn’t know the vehicle struck someone.

The intersection was closed down for several hours while police investigate, but has since reopened.

SIU invokes mandate after police-involved shooting in Hamilton

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Jul 8th, 2020

The province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has invoked its mandate following a police-involved shooting in Hamilton Tuesday afternoon.

The SIU said Hamilton Police responded to a serious domestic call at around 3:30 p.m. in the area of Gage Avenue North and Cannon Street East.

At around 4 p.m., officers found a 42-year-old man in a vehicle in a convenience store parking lot.

“As several officers approached the vehicle, there was an interaction and two officers discharged their firearms. The man was struck,” the SIU said on their website Tuesday evening. “He was transported to the hospital where he remains in critical condition.”

According to Hamilton paramedics, two people were taken to hospital. One person suffered critical injuries while the other suffered serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.

No further details about the incident have been released.

The SIU is automatically called in to investigate any incidents involving police where there are serious injuries, deaths or allegations of sexual assault.

Multiple shots fired near Allen Road and Lawrence Avenue

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Jul 8th, 2020

Police are investigating after multiple shots were fired near Allen Road and Lawrence Avenue West.

Emergency crews were called to the scene at Flemington and Replin roads around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Officers found at least 15 shell casings in the area and believe suspects may have been aiming at one person who ran off.

No victims have been found.

After reviewing security footage of the area, police say they are searching for four black males — three of which were actively shooting. One was wearing a white shirt and black shorts.

Police are also searching for a white sedan last seen heading westbound on Flemington.

Ontario expected to extend state of emergency to cover gap with new bill

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Jul 8th, 2020

Ontario is expected to table a motion Wednesday to extend the province’s state of emergency until July 24.

The current state of emergency declared at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is set to expire July 15.

Premier Doug Ford’s office says the government wants to extend the measure to ensure there is no gap between that declaration ending and a new bill extending Ontario’s emergency measures taking effect.

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones introduced that bill on Tuesday, saying the province will need to keep some emergency measures in place in the months ahead.

Jones’s bill gives the province the power to keep some pandemic measures in place for up to a year, even as the state of emergency ends.

While the motion to extend the declaration will be introduced on Wednesday, the government does not expect to debate or vote on it until early next week.

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