Van strikes as many as 10 pedestrians at Yonge and Finch, police don’t know motive or cause of crash

April 23, 2018 3:42 pm

Toronto police say that eight to 10 pedestrians have been struck by a white van on Yonge St., near Finch Ave.


The scene is from Finch to Sheppard Ave., a two-kilometre stretch of Yonge. Several witnesses suggested that the van deliberately mounted the curb and hit pedestrians on the sidewalk.


At least eight ambulances have gone to Sunnybrook hospital.


The incident occurred around 1:30 p.m. Monday, police said.


Police said that a white van mounted the curb south of Finch and struck pedestrians walking along the sidewalk on Yonge.


One body was covered by an orange tarp at Tolman Ave., a block south of Finch, while a half a block away, another body was covered by a tarp.


There is no official word yet on the extent of injuries. Reports indicate pedestrians were also struck near the front of North York Civic Centre.


“I was in my car and I saw a white van going on the sidewalk,” witness Ham Yu-Jin told Metroland. “I heard a big bang and the van hit a bus shelter and hit people. I turned my car on and chased the van. I’m so lucky, I could have been hit.”


Police said both the van and the driver are in custody but don’t know the motive or cause of crash. On a video of the arrest that was posted on social media, the person arrested could be heard saying, “kill me.”


“Our hearts go out to anyone affected,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa.


“Obviously we’ll have more to say in the coming hours.”


People were tweeting photos of people with blood, lying on the sidewalk. One witness suggested the vehicle was a rental moving van.


“My thoughts are with those affected by this incident and the frontline responders who are working to help those injured,” Mayor John Tory said.


“I have spoken to Chief Mark Saunders and my office is being updated by Toronto Fire, EMS, TTC and the acting City manager. I am on my way to Mel Lastman Square right now for an update on the situation.


“I have offered any and all assistance that the City can provide to police to help this investigation.”


A waiter at a nearby cafe says he saw several people injured, including a girl who he said appeared to be in serious condition.


Photos from the scene show paramedics treating several people on the sidewalk, where blood stains can be seen.


Police are advising the public to stay away from the area.


The TTC immediately shut down subway service on Line 1, between Sheppard and Finch Stations, due to the police investigation.


By 2:30 p.m., some buses were entering Finch Station.


“Passengers will be taken south on the subway, but trains will not stop at North York Centre,” TTC spokesperson Brad Ross tweeted. “All northbound trains continue to offload all passengers at Sheppard Station before travelling empty up to Finch Station.”



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