(Updated: 1315 hours, June 8, 2021)
A southbound vehicle struck a family of five pedestrians, killing 4, on Hyde Park Road and South Carriage Road in London, Ontario on June 6, 2021. Our examination of the collision site occurred only a couple of hours after it was opened. The following provides additional details from the site.
After the vehicle struck the pedestrians it travelled along the west roadside of Hyde Park Road for approximately 56 metres before the vehicle struck a small sign post, as shown in the image below.
The sign post was flattened at its base as shown below.
Unusually the post itself was twisted, as shown below.
Fresh markings on the stem revealed the manner of contact with the striking vehicle.
The peculiarity of this evidence is that it is believed that the vehicle was travelling quite quickly when it contacted the sign post. There seems to be considerable marking not consistent with a motion parallel to the sign post. Yet the extent of damage is considerable and therefore consistent with a significant force application.
We attempted to follow the vehicle’s path further past the struck sign post. This was an area where news personnel and other site wanderers did not cause as much trampling of the evidence. A view south of the sign post is shown below. There was no evidence of contact to the dark junction box to the right of the view and there was no evidence of tire marks south of the struck sign post.
Even though tire marks do not reveal a path, one can examine the status of any taller weeds to determine if there has been any recent damage. Examination of several of these weeds suggested that the vehicle may have travelled back on the road surface shortly after striking the sign. But this conclusion is very tentative given the lack of evidence.
The alternative is that the vehicle may have come to a stop over top of the struck sign. Evidence supporting this conclusion comes from a tire mark located on the sidewalk just north of the struck sign. The general area is shown in the northward view shown below, followed by a closer view of the tire mark.
The south end of the tire mark is darker and suggests a change in direction. Such evidence often occurs when a tire is stopped and the vehicle changes direction. In the bare earth at the upper left of the close-up view there was a tire tread print that could be the extension of the tire mark as if the vehicle backed up into the driveway. This tire tread print is shown below.
Given that numerous persons trampled through the site, including emergency personnel, and that many police personnel and vehicles were likely in the area, it is not possible to determine if this evidence occurred during the collision event or was caused sometime after. However, given the lack of visible tire marks south of the sign post, and given the extent of damage to the sign post in a non-parallel fashion, the possibility that the striking vehicle stopped and backed into the driveway cannot be excluded. Police photos and other information from their investigation will undoubtedly confirm what transpired.