Tragedy struck earlier this week in Toronto when a five-year-old girl who survived cancer was struck by an empty SUV that rolled down the street. Camila de Almeida Torcato was hit by the driverless vehicle while she was getting picked up from school by her father.
Her father, who was also struck by the rolling vehicle, did not sustain life-threatening injuries.
Despite being rushed to Sick Kids Hospital with critical injuries, the young girl later succumbed to her injuries.
Camila was a five-year-old cancer survivor who was a senior kindergarten student at St. Raphael Catholic School in North York. She was diagnosed with cancer at the tender age of three.
At the time of her passing, she was still in remission from a tumor that was removed from her kidney.
It was around 3:20 pm in the afternoon when she was leaving school with her father and was about to enter into their parked Mercedes-Benz SUV when tragedy struck. As the pair were about to enter the vehicle, a rolling Hyundai Sante Fe SUV, with no driver in it, rolled towards them and pinned them both to their own vehicle.
According to a report from CTV Toronto, a mother had parked her Hyundai up the street in order to walk across and pick up her children from the school. It is unclear at this time whether it was a mechanical problem or a gear not being engaged that was the cause of the car rolling.
A memorial was created outside of the school on Tuesday with flowers and stuffed animals laid for the five-year-old girl.
Ana Paula Carrera, who is a family friend, created an online fundraiser after learning of Camila’s death. In an interview with CTV News, she said: ‘she has a beautiful soul, a beautiful heart. This family is going through very difficult times, and it’s right now the only way that we can think of helping.’
Emmy Milne, a spokesperson for the Toronto Catholic District School Board, told CTV News that the stretch of road where pick-ups occur is a ‘high traffic area.’
The School Board then issued a statement: ‘Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this young student. Tragedies such as this can be difficult for anyone to accept or understand, particularly for young people. Students and staff plan to create a memorial table where individuals can reflect and share personal messages with the family.’ The school will also be hosting a memorial for the young girl in the coming days and police are still investigating the case and will determine if future changes will be added.