TTC, police negligence led to teen's death, lawsuit claims

The parents of a teen who was killed running across Lake Shore Boulevard nearly two years ago have filed a lawsuit against the TTC and Toronto police.

Kathryn Wright and Bill Gillespie, both former CBC journalists, claim in their suit that their son Alex died as a result of negligence by the police and the transit service.

Alex Gillespie, who was 17 at the time, was struck as he ran across the busy street near Woodbine Avenue at about 10 p.m. on Aug. 20, 2010.

The teen was leaving a large party taking place on the beach between Woodbine and Coxwell avenues.

In a prepared statement the parents say they have evidence the bus that struck their son was "exceeding the speed limit, travelling at more than 57 km/h as young people were leaving the event, running across and even standing in the middle of the road."

They say the TTC was also negligent for not providing more buses to carry the party-goers.

The parents also say police were negligent for not providing a plan for safe exit from the park or traffic control on Lakeshore.

"Calls to the police that night in advance of Alex being struck, warned police about the young people running across the busy Lake Shore. One caller pleaded for traffic police to take control of the situation, fearful that 'someone is going to get hurt,'" the statement says.

The lawsuit seeks $2 million in damages against the TTC and Toronto police.

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