The seven people injured after police say the driver of SUV, which had Uber markings, ran a red light at a major downtown intersection Thursday afternoon include a 69-year-old female pedestrian and a 1-year-old girl in a stroller.
In a Friday news release, police said the 69-year-old woman suffered life-threatening injuries in the crash, at College and Bay Sts., and the 1-year-old child was seriously injured.
According to police, the 54-year-old male driver of a black Toyota SUV was travelling north on Bay St. around 3:20 p.m. when he ran the red light at College St., first striking four pedestrians in the south crosswalk, then colliding with the drivers of another vehicle in the intersection.
In a statement, Uber confirmed the SUV — which could be seen with a company sticker on its windshield — belonged to one of its drivers and said it has removed the driver’s access to its app.
“We extend our thoughts to all those involved in this incident,” said spokesperson Kayla Whaling. “We stand ready to assist authorities and will provide any information to them for their investigation.”
Two other victims of the crash to were taken to hospital with serious injuries, police said: a 54-year-old female pedestrian and a 24-year-old female driver. Three others — a 43-year-old male pedestrian, the 24-year-old driver of another car and the driver of the SUV — were not seriously injured were not hospitalized, police said.
All of the victims who were hospitalized are now in stable condition, police said.
Initial reports had said six people were injured in the crash.
Nathaniel D’Ior said he was only a few feet away when he saw the black SUV run a red light, strike several pedestrians, then hit a white car and attempt to turn.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” the 23-year-old told the Star. “It was honestly just surreal.”
Two of the pedestrians who were hit in the crosswalk, the 69-year-old woman and the 54-year-old woman, were “carried into the intersection” by SUV before it collided with a 2014 Toyota Corolla travelling west on College St., police said.
The Corolla then collided with a 2017 Chevrolet pick-up truck, also travelling west on College St.
Police are asking local residents, business, drivers, or anyone in the area who may have observed what happened or have security or dash-cam footage of the area or incident, to contact their investigators.
“It happened to be during rush hour in a busy downtown area when this happened, so lots of people should have dash-cam footage,” Sgt. Brett Moore told reporters on Thursday.
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Traffic Services closed nearby lanes for more than four hours to investigate along with collision reconstruction and hit-and-run teams.
Under stricter rules approved by city council in July, more than 90,000 Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing service drivers will have to undergo mandatory training before they’re allowed to drive in Toronto.
By the end of 2020, drivers will have to show proof that they have passed a “third-party training program,” approved by city staff. They will also have to have three years’ driving experience, up from one now, and affix their smartphones or other devices to the vehicle’s interior.
By the Star’s count, 22 pedestrians have died on Toronto roads this year.