Fire truck driver charged for striking 11-year-old girl in crosswalk

Charges of careless driving have been laid against a Toronto firefighter for the Dec. 16 accident in which an 11-year-old girl was struck as she attempted to cross the road in the city’s west end, police announced yesterday.

The girl was hit by a fire emergency response vehicle in the crosswalk on Oakwood Avenue at Rosemount Avenue, according to police.

The vehicle had lights and sirens on while travelling northbound on Oakwood to a fire call on St. Clair Avenue West when it struck the girl, police said.

Firefighters reportedly provided first aid to the girl before paramedics arrived on scene.

Toronto Police media relations Allison Sparkes said the fire truck driver is not being named. “We won’t be releasing the identity of the driver because it’s still part of the investigation.”

The girl was taken to hospital and, while her injuries were not life threatening, she is still recovering in the hospital.

Members of the community have expressed their sympathies to the family.

“My thoughts and prayers are out to the girl and her family,” said Ashley Cook, 43, who saw the news reported on television. “I heard on the news that the drivers been working for the Toronto Fire services for 22 years. It’s really devastating to hear something like this happen in your community.”

Toronto fire chief Matthew Pegg said released a statement after the charges were announced.

“My thoughts, and the thoughts of the entire Toronto Fire Services team, are with the young girl and her family during this difficult time,” Pegg said. “Each of us sincerely hopes for a full and speedy recovery.”

The fire department is cooperating with the police investigation of the incident and is also carrying out its own investigation to help ensure such incidents don’t happen again, Pegg said.

The fire truck driver is to appear in court at the Old City Hall on Feb. 20, Sparkes said.

The driver faces charges of careless driving causing bodily harm and passing a stopped vehicle at a crossover.