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'Very difficult day': City officials mourn toddler struck by truck

'Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and the community,' says mayor; investigation continues into death of 23-month-old boy
Police investigate at the scene of a collision involving a recycling collection truck and a 23-month-old boy in southeast Barrie on May 23. The boy later died in hospital.

Although few new details are being released about yesterday afternoon's tragic collision in south-end Barrie, which led to the death of a 23-month-old boy, there has been an outpouring of grief among community members today. 

Barrie police were called to Red Maple Lane, near Yonge Street and Mapleview Drive East, on May 23 at 12:43 p.m. for an incident involving a young child and recycling collection truck. The boy later died in hospital after being airlifted to Toronto. 

“On behalf of our entire community, we wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of yesterday’s tragic accident,” Mayor Alex Nuttall said in a statement this morning. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and the community.”

Upon arrival, police learned the boy had been hit by a recycling truck. He was transported to local hospital and later flown by air ambulance to a Toronto trauma centre where he was treated for life-threatening injuries.

The subsequent police investigation was conducted by the Barrie police traffic unit, who were assisted by the members of the forensic identification unit and officers who were assigned to the day shift, according to police.

Police say the probe is ongoing and updates will be provided as the investigation permits.

“Yesterday was a very difficult day for everyone on scene,” Barrie police communications coordinator Peter Leon said on Friday afternoon.

“We are fortunate to have a wellness coordinator here in the service," he added. "As soon as we were aware of the incident, she was immediately engaged and knows everybody who was on scene and involved with that call yesterday. She will be following up with them."

Leon said tragic incidents like this one have ripple effects through the police department and the entire community.

“It impacts everybody, not only those that are on scene but anybody who may have been in the immediate area,” he said. “It’s a loss for our community and it’s a real tragic set of circumstances that unfolded.”

There were no further updates Friday afternoon.

Leon did note that it's important for motorists coming into areas where there are young children present to “slow right down and have full attention where it needs to be on everything that’s happening around you at all times.”

BradfordToday and InnisfilToday affiliate BarrieToday reached out to the Ministry of Labour (MOL) this morning and was told they have not been notified of the incident.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with the victim’s family, friends and loved ones,” said a ministry spokesperson.

Emterra Environmental, the company which operates the truck involved in the collision, has not responded to a request for comment.

Circular Materials took over recycling collection in Barrie as of May 1. The organization contracts recycling collection in Barrie to Emterra.

Kevin Lamb

About the Author: Kevin Lamb

Kevin Lamb picked up a camera in 2000 and by 2005 was freelancing for the Barrie Examiner newspaper until its closure in 2017. He is an award-winning photojournalist, with his work having been seen in many news outlets across Canada and internationally
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