Boy, 3, dead after truck strikes family at marked crosswalk in southwest Edmonton

A small roadside memorial of flowers and a white candle at the scene on Friday afternoon. (Manuel Carrillos Avalos/CBC - image credit)
A small roadside memorial of flowers and a white candle at the scene on Friday afternoon. (Manuel Carrillos Avalos/CBC - image credit)

A three-year-old boy is dead after he and his family were struck by a truck at a marked crosswalk in southwest Edmonton Thursday.

A 39-year-old woman and her two young children, the boy and a seven-year-old girl, were hit as they crossed the street in the Allard neighbourhood around 5 p.m., Edmonton police said in a statement.

A 2019 Ford F-150 truck was travelling north on Allard Road S.W. when it stopped quickly at the three-way stop at Allard Boulevard S.W., police said.

At the same time, the woman and her children were walking east across Allard Road S.W. in a marked crosswalk on the south side of the intersection, police said.

After making a brief stop, the truck reportedly turned left onto Allard Boulevard S.W. heading west, running over the boy and striking the mother and her daughter, police said.

The boy was dead by the time paramedics arrived at the scene.

The woman and her daughter were treated for non-life-threatening injuries but have since been released from hospital.

Driver remained at scene

The 30-year-old man who was driving the truck remained at the scene. The man was not injured.

Charges are pending against the driver, police said. Collision investigators do not believe speed or alcohol were factors in the collision.

As of Friday morning, little evidence of the crash remained.

A small memorial of pink roses and peach iris flowers had been placed on the sidewalk, alongside a white candle.

A makeshift memorial at the intersection of Allard Road S.W. and Allard Boulevard S.W. on Friday.
A makeshift memorial at the intersection of Allard Road S.W. and Allard Boulevard S.W. on Friday.

A makeshift memorial at the intersection Friday morning. (Wallis Snowdon/CBC)

The boy's death is the seventh fatal pedestrian collision this year in Edmonton, police said Friday.

Yogita Sharma, a mother of two who lives nearby and passes through the area regularly on her morning walks through the neighbourhood, was shocked to hear of the boy's death.

She said the intersection is often busy with traffic and risky for pedestrians to navigate.

Safety measures needed, say locals

The city should consider installing a flashing light for pedestrians at the crosswalk, or a traditional traffic light, to improve safety, Sharma said.

She said the death is a tragic reminder to parents of the dangers children can face on city roads.

"I think of the family. My heart goes out to them. I can't imagine what they are going through," she said.

A family of three were struck by a truck at the intersection of Allard Road S.W. and Allard Boulevard S.W. in southwest Edmonton on Thursday.
A family of three were struck by a truck at the intersection of Allard Road S.W. and Allard Boulevard S.W. in southwest Edmonton on Thursday.

A family of three was struck by a truck at the intersection of Allard Road S.W. and Allard Boulevard S.W. in southwest Edmonton on Thursday. (Wallis Snowdon/CBC)

"It's sad, so sad and it's a warning to us, as parents."

Sharma said she often talks to her children, aged six and 14, about road safety and the boy's death is a reminder of the importance of those conversations.

"I always tell them, 'Be careful. Watch and make sure that the person driving the car sees you and stops. Don't rush, you're not going miss anything. Life is more important.'"

Neighbour Pamela Little also said the intersection, which she passes almost every day with her small children, is not safe.

"It's just devastating," Little said. "It could happen to any one of us…. So, it's just sad for the mom and for the family. They should actually be doing something instead of just a three-way stop here."

City to review case with police

Stephen Raitz, a board member with Paths for People, said he thinks the design of the intersection poses a safety hazard for pedestrians.

"There's really far distances that you have to cross, there's design that really facilitates fast car movement and ultimately we saw that really dangerous mix of ingredients yesterday produced a really terrible outcome for the community," Raitz said. "We've seen trucks just rip through here."

In a statement, the City of Edmonton offered its condolences to everyone affected, saying it will be reviewing the case with the police.

"We analyze the police report of the fatality, previous traffic collision history and other relevant data, and conduct a site review (that includes reviewing the signage and pavement markings, road geometry and sightlines) to better understand the safety risk and identify short-term and long-term measures that can be implemented to improve safety," said Rupesh Patel, the city's acting director of safe mobility.

Patel said the intersection had been upgraded to an all-way stop a few years ago after a city review. Patel also noted that residents are being asked for feedback on recently installed traffic calming measures.

"The city has not received any major traffic safety concerns on this specific intersection in the recent years; however, over the past year residents of the Allard neighbourhood participated in a Vision Zero Street Lab, where their feedback was combined with the city's technical expertise to develop a traffic safety plan for the neighbourhood.… In the coming months we will be gathering feedback from residents on the newly installed measures and combining that with our fatality review, which could inform additional adjustments being made."