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UPDATE: Driver charged in crash that killed Georgia Walsh

Leaside locals say intersection has improved since six-year-old's death

A man has been charged in connection with a Leaside crash that killed 6-year-old Georgia Walsh.

The 50-year-old faces charges of careless driving and failing to stop at a red light.  The man's name has not been released because he has been charged under the Highway Traffic Act, not Canada's Criminal code.

Georgia, the daughter of Conservative Party of Canada President John Walsh, was hit by a minivan making a right turn as she crossed the intersection of Millboard Ave and Macrame Dr on July 16th. The busy crossing is the heart of the community: home to a church, dance school, summer camps, a baseball diamond, tennis courts, a playground, recreation centre and library.

Georgia's parents released a statement Thursday thanking police for their "exhaustive investigation".

But at the intersection where Georgia's life was cut short, locals took no satisfaction in charges being laid.

"We're all so heart-sick about everything," said Darla on Thursday afternoon.  "It's just another added horror."

Steven was shocked that criminal charges like manslaughter were not filed. "A small, poor child died," he said shaking his head, his voice quivering. While the crash was a fatal, police say there was no intent from the driver to do harm, no criminal act.

Tributes to Georgia are all over Leaside. There is still a memorial at the corner where the six-year-old was hit, with flowers, pinwheels and notes clustered around a blown up photo of her smiling face.  The post holding up the "Stop Here on Red Signal" sign police allege the driver blew through is wrapped in pink ribbon and yarn. Every tree and hydro pole in the streets surrounding the crash site is festooned with pink ribbon.

After Georgia's death, Leaside parents said they had been sounding the alarm about the "unsafe" intersection’s for months, to no effect. They complain that drivers often use the stretch of road as a thoroughfare, zipping through amber and red lights and making last-second turns.

But locals agree things have improved a little in the two weeks since Georgia's death.

"I think everyone is trying to be more careful," said dad of three Paul.  "I see people stopping, not doing the cavalier stopping, so that's good," said Darla.

Locals attribute the shift to media coverage of the crash and the rows of signs that have been erected on front lawns through Leaside.  "Slow Down. Kids at Play", say the signs over the silhouette of a boy's face in profile.

People of Leaside are not convinced drivers and pedestrian have changed their habits for good.

"People forget and then they move on and do what they did before."

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  1. Tanya posted on 07/31/2014 02:07 PM
    Looking at street view, that looks like a busy intersection for a 6 year old to be crossing by herself. I'm not blaming anyone, just saying it LOOKS like a dangerous place for a small child to cross alone.
    1. Sonny posted on 07/31/2014 02:15 PM
      @Tanya True, the mother should not have let the 7 year old walk by herself because she tried to race the mother home which could mean she darted into the street...
  2. ToddK_2 posted on 07/31/2014 04:18 PM
    I've been in Toronto for 12 years and in my experience 80% of mini-van drivers are the worst and I avoid them like the plague. They are usually oblivious to their surrounds, and are unaware of the size of their vehicle. Stop sign means stop, yes the girl shouldn't have been alone but it's time for people to wake up and start respecting the metal contraption they are driving in and what it does to the human body on impact.
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