News / Toronto

Latest pedestrian death comes amid calls for speeding up road safety plan

A 24-year-old York University student was hit on Sentinel Road, south of Assiniboine Road, on Tuesday and died of her injuries.

York University is not releasing the name of the victim out of respect for the family, they said. The administration is working with Toronto Police, and has counselling services available for those who need them.

torsar news service file

York University is not releasing the name of the victim out of respect for the family, they said. The administration is working with Toronto Police, and has counselling services available for those who need them.

A 24-year-old York University student hit near campus Tuesday afternoon is the latest pedestrian to be killed on Toronto's streets and the fifth in less than a week. Her death comes with a renewed call to council to speed up the city's road-safety plan.

A motion from Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam wants the city to roll out the plan in two years instead of five "to prevent future deaths" and make money available to do it.

The $80-million plan was passed in summer 2016, during the worst year for pedestrian deaths in over a decade. It consists of 45 actions to prevent pedestrian and cyclist deaths at high-risk areas, including lower speed limits, changes to intersections and longer pedestrian crossing times.

The student is the 26th pedestrian killed on Toronto's streets this year; there were 28 killed this time last year and 43 total in 2016, according to Toronto police.

She was hit by a driver on Sentinel Road south of Assiniboine Road, Const. Clinton Stibbe told Metro, and later died of her injuries.

"It is with great sadness that I inform you that a member of the York University community, a student, died in hospital after being struck by a vehicle near the Keele Campus, late yesterday," reads a statement that university president Rhonda Lenton sent to community members Wednesday.

The school is not releasing the name of the victim out of respect for the family, the statement says. The administration is working with Toronto police and has counselling services available for those who need them.

"On behalf of the entire York community, we extend heartfelt condolences to the family and friends," the statement adds. "We mourn this tragic loss of life together."

People are going to keep dying, said Daniella Levy-Pinto, a member of safe-streets advocacy group Walk Toronto, unless the mayor and council agree to "to prioritize human life above moving traffic."

Fellow Walk Toronto member Maureen Coyle said the problem is that the road-safety plan is underfunded.

"It's not a question of moving it from five years and collapsing it into two years; the real issue is that $80 million is not going to create the kind of infrastructure that we need to see in order to keep people safer," Coyle said.

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