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'I lost my everything': Father of teen fatally struck in Scarborough calls for justice

·4 min read
Nadia Mozumder, 17, died on Tuesday after she was struck and killed by a driver in Scarborough. She was a grade 12 student at Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute. (Submitted by Mozumder family - image credit)
Nadia Mozumder, 17, died on Tuesday after she was struck and killed by a driver in Scarborough. She was a grade 12 student at Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute. (Submitted by Mozumder family - image credit)

The father of 17-year-old Nadia Mozumder, struck and killed this week, called for justice at her funeral Thursday, saying he never wants to see a mother or father lose their child the way he did.

"I lost my everything," Azizul Mozumder told reporters at the Islamic Research Centre Canada, where his daughter's funeral prayers took place. "I loved my daughter so much. I'm going miss her for the rest of her life."

"I need justice for my daughter," he said, before breaking down.

Born in Hamilton, a family friend told CBC News, Nadia was wise beyond her years and had only recently spent two weeks at her grandmother's home where she talked about her dreams for the future.

""To come to terms that she's no more, it's quite hard. Every single person that knows her would vouch for me on this. She has touched so many lives... it's quite commendable the life she led and the way she conducted herself," said Moqsood Hussaine, a friend of Nadia's father.

"I hope whoever is watching this, whenever you see a pedestrian, regardless if they're young, old, or a youth, please slow down, look left, right and centre — and then proceed. Because you're not just hurting one person ... and no one wants to hit anybody and no one wants to be in an accident. So if you can err on the side of caution, that will help everyone in the long run."

Michael Cole/CBC
Michael Cole/CBC

Nadia, a Grade 12 student at Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute, was struck while crossing Danforth Avenue at Birchmount Road in Scarborough Tuesday. Toronto police were called to the intersection at about 11:45 a.m. She was rushed in life-threatening condition to a trauma centre, where she died.

Her father had been stuck in traffic in Hamilton when she was taken to hospital. Hussaine was among the first to arrive, but even before he could make it, a friend who made it to hospital just before him told him she'd died.

WATCH | CBC's Chris Glover reports on the death of a teen girl and the danger of Toronto roadways:

Police say a 40-year-old woman was driving a minivan southbound on Birchmount Road when she made a left-hand turn to go east on Danforth Avenue and struck Nadia on the east side of Birchmount Road. The teen was headed from south to north.

Members of Toronto police's traffic services unit are still investigating.

On Wednesday, a makeshift memorial grew at the site where Nadia was killed and a team of social workers and psychologists talked to students at her school.

Doly Begum, MPP for Scarborough Southwest and a friend of the family, said she had known Nadia since she was a little girl and will remember her as a volunteer with "big dreams and hopes to support her community." Begum said she has talked to Nadia's mother.

"I think she's still in shock. She's still processing through it. Nadia was her only child. Nadia was her caregiver. Nadia was her world," Begum said.

"It's extremely, extremely heartbreaking. It's just unbelievable."

'We know how dangerous this intersection is'

Anton Skerritt, former principal at the school, said the death has left students and staff in shock.

"The students and staff are extremely impacted by this, especially having something so tragic happen so close to our school," Skerritt said.

Mark Richardson, a parent of a teen boy who attends Birchmount Park Collegiate, said the news made him angry.

"When we heard this story, I was just angry. We know how dangerous this intersection is. People just gun it through here at 60, 70, 80 kilometres an hour and the city doesn't seem to do anything about it."

Parthi Kandavel, Toronto District School Board Trustee for Ward 18, Scarborough Southwest, said he's working with the city after parents alerted him to the dangers that pedestrians face in the area.

"It's a question we're looking to explore, pending the police investigation and how schools and the city can work together," he said.

Mayor says responsibility rests with drivers

Mayor John Tory said hundreds of speed limits have been reduced across the city and speed cameras and speed bumps installed.

"My heart sinks every time one of these is reported. All it does is redouble my determination with my colleagues to continue to have even more of the measures that we have introduced," Tory said.

"The principal responsibility remains and rests with the people who have their two hands on the steering wheel and their foot on the gas pedal."

Forty-six lives have been lost on Toronto streets this year.

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