Flowers line the road, and the flags are flying at half mast outside Mother Theresa Catholic Elementary in Kingston, Ont. after a 10-year-old student died after she was struck by a vehicle outside of the school Monday afternoon.
But, as the community mourns, the death has some residents wondering if more should be done to prevent future incidents.
Kingston police say they responded to a call from the school around 3:40 p.m., reporting a serious accident involving a student.
Sgt. Steve Koopman says the child was struck by a pick up truck and rolled under the car.
“Unfortunately she was struck as the vehicle was coming through the area,” he explains. “The driver of the vehicle had stopped immediately and has been cooperative with police.”
The child was taken to hospital, where she later died. Police are not releasing her name at this time.
No charges have been laid, and police say the investigation into what happened is ongoing.
With three schools on Lancaster Drive, where the school resides, residents say it can become congested towards the end of the day, with students, cars and school buses.
There are speed bumps, and improvements to the road have been made by the city in the last few years, but Marijke Vandekraats, who’s lived in the area for more than 30 years, says she’d like more measures to be considered.
That includes possible traffic lights, she says.
“Everything, everything should be considered,” she explains. “It should never take a death for something to happen. Safety is always number one. It’s a preventative measure. We need preventative measures so incidents like this never can even occur.”
Though the exact circumstances in this case are still unknown, Kingston police say that is part of the investigation.
“Is there anything within that roadway that potentially could be modified or made better?” Koopman says. “We want to try to understand what’s occurred here, and have that not happen again if we have the ability to do so.”
On Tuesday, condolences and support from across the city poured in for the family.
Mayor Bryan Paterson tweeted a statement on behalf of city council.
“A tragedy like this touches our whole community and we mourn with everyone who knew this child and has been affected by her passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with the community at this heartbreaking time.”
— Bryan Paterson (@MayorPaterson) February 1, 2022
A GoFundMe page has been set up, quickly surpassing it’s $15,000 goal. As of Tuesday night it had amassed $45,000 for the family.
The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board says it’s deeply saddened by the death.
“This news is heartbreaking and a tremendous loss in our community…The Board offers our deepest condolences to the family for this tremendous loss.”
The board also said a bereavement team was present at the school Tuesday to support students, staff, and community members affected by the tragedy.