The parents of two young children who were struck and killed whereas they were playing in their Vaughan, Ontario driveway have released a statement saying they have been left “extremely traumatized by the tragic loss.”
The accident occurred on a quiet, residential street, located near Dufferin Street north of Teston Road, at about noon on Sunday.
Police said the two siblings, aged 4 and 10, were playing in the driveway of their home along with a neighbor, who was fixing a bike when the three were hit by a black Mercedes sedan.
The two children, who have been identified by neighbors and family as Jax and Anaya, were taken to hospital but succumbed to their injuries.
“We are extremely traumatized by the tragic loss of our daughter and son,” the parents, who have not been identified, said in a statement through York Regional Police.
“The past days have been extremely difficult for our family. We appreciate the prayers and thoughts of all those grieving with us.”
The neighbor was also taken to the hospital but police said he sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the Mercedes, a 16-year-old Richmond Hill resident, was arrested after the collision, police said.
He was initially charged with dangerous driving causing bodily harm but the charges were subsequently upgraded to dangerous driving causing death after the children died of their injuries.
The teen, who cannot be identified under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, additionally faces one count of dangerous operations causing bodily harm.
The individual is expected to make his first appearance in court on Wednesday.
The media obtained surveillance video from a neighbor that shows the car just seconds before the incident.
On Tuesday, an increasing memorial of flowers and more than a dozen stuffed animals could be seen placed in front of the house.
One neighbor told the media on Monday that the family moved to the neighborhood during the pandemic. She described the four-year-old boy as a “delightful child”.
“He would talk to us through the fence,” she said. “We have a five-year-old grandson and we talked about when the pandemic was over, they were going to get to play together.”
Investigators are asking any person with information or video footage of the deadly crash to call police or Crime Stoppers anonymously.