Little girl dead in crosswalk; driver “well within speed limit”

Our colleague Joe Hendry caught this one, pulled it to earth and wrestled with it for a minute. It’s a report from CITY TV’s news website about the seven-year-old girl who was killed by a construction van while crossing the street on her bike in front of her house. In a crosswalk. Just behind her brother on his bike, who crossed first and whom the driver had managed not to hit and kill.

Victoria Jones died after riding into the path of an oncoming vehicle in front of her house at Warden and Sheppard Ave. Initial reports suggested the driver may have been distracted and talking on a cell phone, but police now say that wasn’t the case. They also add that he was driving well within the speed limit.

As Joe puts it, “Perhaps CITY-TV could tell the family what exactly is the speed limit for driving through a pedestrain crosswalk with a 7 year-old girl in the middle of it. I thought it was zero.”

Members of Toronto’s Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists have planned a memorial ride to the site of the collision, scheduled for Tuesday, September 4th. Details are below:

What: Cyclist Memorial When: Tuesday September 4th 8pm. Meet: Spadina and Bloor 6pm. or 630pm if you are taking the subway. Re-group at Warden Station (outside west entrance) at appx. 7pm., departing 715pm Memorial site. Bay Mills Blvd near Warden appx. 8pm

Please bring candles and/flowers. It will be dark for our return ride home.

For more info Darren Stehr 416-707-4744 or Derek Chadbourne 416-828-0370

8 Responses to “Little girl dead in crosswalk; driver “well within speed limit””

  1. dowlingm says:

    Actually the speed limit for cyclists on crosswalks is 4 mph - i.e. you're supposed to walk across it

    Also you forgot to mention from the CityNews article: "According to published reports Victoria was not wearing a helmet at the time"

    [editor's note: Thanks for your observation, although it sounds like you're blaming the victim here. See also from the story: "She died from trauma to the chest." A helmet would not have helped. And if children (and other bicyclists with 20-inch wheels) are allowed to ride on the sidewalk, they should be permitted to ride where other pedestrians go, such as on crosswalks. ]


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  3. dowlingm says:

    Let's be daring for a moment here. I am, in fact, blaming the person who died. I am saying that a 7-year-old sweet kid got herself killed. I am aware that in modern times it's more fitting to lay memorials and to lay blame elsewhere - I lay the blame at the door of the people who give kids bikes with a proper grounding in how the HTA works in respect of cyclists. The memorial will only be fitting if parents lead their kids past it and say - don't ride your bike across a sidewalk - get off and walk.

    A helmet might not indeed have saved her but cycling across the sidewalk is likely to have contributed to the accident, since the driver was actually stopped for her brother whom she plainly dashed out to follow according to one report in the local Scarborough paper. Plainly the framers of the HTA saw the possibility of someone darting across the crossing too fast for a driver to see and react to but you seem to think you know better in demanding equal rights for cyclists in pedestrian space, and drivers are inherently evil anyway.

    Some poor schmuck has just killed a kid and even though the police aren't laying charges he will probably be traumatised for the rest of his life - I know I would be. From an insurance point of view the burden of proof will be on him that he acted properly. He is, by the looks of things, the de facto victim of this affair. No sympathetic articles will be written for him.

    If the Highway Traffic Act was followed then the accident might have been avoided entirely, even if as you say the helmet would not have mitigated the event itself.


    The kid was killed on a residential street. Forget the HTA, why isn't there a "residential traffic act" that kicks in in such situations? In the RTA we envision, cars would be preceded on residential streets by pedestrians ringing bells, warning of the leprous canker (i.e. the automobile) to follow.


    What kind of world do we live in where something so simple as using your own human power to cross your own street proves fatal? People are also human and as such *nobody* is following the highway traffic act perfectly all of the time. Road users must be observant and make compensations for an imperfect world. If people cannot pay the kind of attention that is required to notice things out of the ordinary, then perhaps they should not be given a license to operate a 2000 lb lethal weapon.

  6. dstehr says:

    Hey Dowling,

    How did you lose all your sense of compassion? We are talking about a seven-year-old here. Maybe a better study of the HTA and its application is in order, that piece of paper has a lot more compassion than you.

  7. gullison says:

    just to add before you go blaming the girl their were in fact 4 children in the crosswald at the time of the accident, one in the rear her in the middle and two up darting out here...

  8. D Gullison says:

    As a boy of ten my eight year old brother and I tried to cross Bathurst St. in the middle of the road, no cross walk, no light were present at our crossing place and yes we caused an accident the driver in this case was paying attention and his panic stop caused the following car to colide with him. The attending Police officer said something to my mother who was worried about our careless behavior, and whom might be at fault . The Officers reply was this , " Maam" CHILDREN ARE CAREFREE NOT CARELESS, so I would say to all who thoughtlessly would blame a seven year old child for getting herself run over in a marked cross walk with lights flashing that vigilance for the children in our community lies solely with the adults around them , How dare anyone suggest differently

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