At 1:30pm today, a white van plowed into a sidewalk at Yonge St. and Finch Ave. in Toronto. At least 9 people were killed and 16 others were injured and rushed to the hospital. Media sources have confirmed that Sunnybrook Hospital in North York has received seven patients from the accident. Witnesses saw several orange tarps covering victims' bodies near the scene.
The driver of the van is now in police custody after a standoff with police, captured on video. The motive remains unknown. The driver reportedly rode onto the curb on the southbound side of the intersection, plowing directly into a crowd of pedestrians. He was driving at nearly 70 km/h. The driver was heard yelling "kill me" and "shoot me in the head" as the arrest happened.
One witness told the media, “Everybody was out enjoying the sunshine and all of a sudden there was this Ryder van coming south on the sidewalk … plowing people down,” he said. “He just kept on going and people were flying everywhere.” Another witness describes the scene as "complete chaos."
Justin Trudeau, Mayor John Tory, Premier Kathleen Wynne and several other politicians have responded to the incident on Twitter. John Tory says that he is on his way to the scene, and Justin Trudeau says, "we are monitoring the situation closely."
My statement on the tragic incident at Yonge and Finch. pic.twitter.com/8FhH3M5Vhd
Our thoughts are with all those affected by the terrible incident at Yonge and Finch in Toronto. Thank you to the first responders working at the scene – we're monitoring the situation closely.
The Yonge St. and Finch Ave. intersection and surrounding streets will remain shut down as police continue to investigate. TTC subway service has been suspended on Line 1 from Finch to Sheppard Station, and buses will be diverting around the area.
Police have identified the alleged driver as 25-year-old Alek Minassian. Visit this article to find out what's known about him so far.
Ongoing story, more to come.