Girl, 7, killed in Montreal hit-and-run was a Ukrainian refugee
The seven-year-old girl fatally struck by a vehicle in a hit-and-run in Montreal Tuesday was a Ukrainian refugee, according to neighbours.
Dozens of people took part in a vigil Tuesday night to mourn the death of the young girl in the Ville-Marie borough.
"I don't know what to say except that I am deeply saddened at the moment," said one of the organizers, Philippe Bouchard. He was in the area when the girl was hit Tuesday morning.
"I'm with all my heart with the family," he said.
Bouchard said the girl, named Maria, and her two older siblings had only been attending the nearby school since September, and that she spoke little French or English.
The man told CTV News that while paramedics were working to save the girl’s life, his friend was trying to calm down her older brother and sister.
Police said they received multiple 911 calls at around 8:05 a.m. reporting a pedestrian had been struck.
Officers arrived at the intersection of Parthenais and Rouen streets where they found the young girl seriously injured. She was transported to the hospital in critical condition and later died of her injuries.
The vehicle that struck the girl fled the scene after the crash Tuesday morning, police said.
A man in his 40s has been arrested and is being interviewed by investigators. He is expected to be arraigned in court on Wednesday.
The girl was struck in a school zone.
Health-care workers from the CLSC des Faubourgs, which is located at that intersection, were able to assist the victim on site, said regional health-care spokesperson Jean-Nicolas Aubé.
"Right inside the CLSC there were three nurses and one resident doctor. These people are trained to act whenever there are these types of situations – and that’s exactly what they did. So they came out and they did some manoeuvres until the arrival of emergency personnel," he said.
FOUR CHILDREN STRUCK IN 2022
It is the fourth time in 2022 that a child has been hit crossing the street in Montreal.
In November a one-year-old was in a stroller and struck by a car crossing an intersection in Outremont. Police confirmed that an 87-year-old man was met by investigators in connection with the hit-and-run and police have requested that his license be suspended.
A four-year-old was also hit crossing the same intersection in March. Both children survived.
A COMMUNITY IN MOURNING
About 40 people showed up to support the family and friends of the young girl.
"It's a small community. Everybody knows everybody. So it's a wake-up call. Because a lot of people have been saying that traffic is really, really bad. It's a disaster," said Bouchard.
Mayor Valerie Plante responded to the tragedy on Twitter.
"My heart broke at the news of the girl's passing," she wrote. "My sympathies to the family during this terrible ordeal. Every death on our roads is one too many."
She said her administration will evaluate the sector to see if there is a need for more security measures in the area.
Quebec Solidaire MNA Manon Masse represents the riding in the national assembly and said she will also work with the city to improve safety on the streets in the area.
"And to motorists: slow down, the street does not belong to you," she wrote on Twitter.
- With files from Matt Grillo and Daniel J. Rowe.