Caribbean Carnival organizers 'deeply saddened' by teen’s death
Published Saturday, August 3, 2013 10:25PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, August 4, 2013 10:51PM EDT
The organizers of Toronto’s Caribbean Carnival say they are “deeply saddened” by the death of a teenaged reveller, who was run over by a float after the festival’s parade Saturday night.
Police identified the victim Sunday afternoon as 18-year-old Rueshad Grant of Mississauga, Ont., according to CP24 reporter Cristina Tenaglia. Grant was struck on Lake Shore Blvd. near Dowling Ave. shortly before 9 p.m.
"Our hearts are going out to the family because it's a sad thing, it's a sad thing for family, for friends, for anybody. Nobody wanted something like that to happen at the parade," Caribbean Carnival organizer Chris Alexander told reporters.
Police say he was standing beside a float when he was drawn under the trailer and was seriously injured. He was rushed to St. Michael's Hospital where he later died.
Originally police thought he has fallen from a float and then was run over by the vehicle pulling that float.
"Whatever happened last night, it was an accident," Alexander said.
Denise Herrerra-Jackson, CEO of the festival management committee, released a statement about the incident that was posted to the event’s official website, offering condolences to the victim’s friends and family.
“We are deeply saddened by this loss,” Herrerra-Jackson said. “The Toronto police are conducting a full and thorough investigation and we will assist them in any way we can.”
CP24 reporter Jackie Crandles said the parade had ended by the time the young man was struck, and it is unclear where the float was headed at the time. Police say the float came to a stop about 500 metres from where the victim was struck, suggesting the driver was unaware anyone had been hit.
A large crowd of revellers was still in the area, and many of them have provided witness statements to police, Crandles said. The float’s driver has also provided a statement to investigators.
Police have not laid any charges in the case, and investigators would not speculate about whether charges will be laid.
“They wouldn’t say or speculate if alcohol was perhaps a factor, or if this individual perhaps took a misstep and fell off the float,” Crandles told CTV News Channel Sunday morning.
A video of the incident posted online shows some confusion around the time of the incident, as a man with a microphone aboard the float pleaded with the driver to stop.
“Please stop the truck, driver stop the truck,” the man can be heard saying.
The man then asks people to stay away from the truck’s wheels, and it appears he at first thought that only the victim’s foot had been run over.
An autopsy is scheduled for Sunday.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 416-808-1900 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS.
With report from CTV Toronto's Natalie Johnson