The beginning of the school year turned tragic in Toronto on Tuesday after a young girl was killed in a vehicle accident outside a middle school in the city's northwest end.
Toronto Police confirmed that the girl has been declared dead after being struck at the intersection of Sentinel Road and Lamberton Boulevard, near Elia Middle School and a short distance from CW Jefferys High School.
The student has been confirmed as Violet Jia Liang, 14, who was entering her second year at CW Jefferys' Grade 9/10 enrichment program.
The accident happened shortly before 8 a.m. — a full hour before classes were to start for the day.
Principal Monday Gala said it was possible Liang, an excellent student with a 90 per cent average, was coming to school early at the time of the accident.
"We are talking about a student that really enriched this building, a student that did very well in her classes," Gala told reporters Tuesday afternoon.
He added that the school has expressed their sympathy to her family and made councillor available to students.
Police say a Mack truck driven by a 41-year-old man turned left onto Lamberton Boulevard from Sentinel Road and struck the girl as she was crossing the road. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Tuesday marks a return to class for students across the Toronto area. Thousands of students made their way to classes, often at new schools and in unfamiliar neighbourhoods.
@ scene of fatality at Sentinel/Lamberton 14 y.o girl hit by truck. A tragic way to begin a school year. Our prayers are with the family.
— Clint Stibbe (@TrafficServices) September 3, 2013
Toronto Police have launched a campaign warning drivers to watch for distracted children.
A two-week blitz began today targeting drivers who "blatantly and carelessly put children at risk as a result of their poor driving habits."
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