No “Goodbye.” No “I love you.” No explanation. A young man was taken from his wife and unborn child 2 days before Father’s Day.
I’m staying at a house near College & Bathurst for the summer. My roommates and I discovered a few weeks ago that it’s an informal neighbourhood tradition to head to Trinity Bellwoods park on Friday afternoons. Last Friday was no exception. After work we found a nice spot in the middle of the park, where we decompressed from our week. We listened to some music, laid back, talked, laughed, and just enjoyed the perfect summer day.
Not too long after we sat down, we heard a siren… quite distant at first, but it quickly got closer and closer. I noticed it, but didn’t think much of it.
A few minutes later there was another one… also stopping close-by. Again, I didn’t think too much of it. This happened several more times – one after the other.
At one point, my roommate stopped mid-sentence and said “oh look – I think something’s happening on the street over there.” I turned my head to see a number of fire trucks and ambulances on the street, maybe 400m away. “It must be a car accident or something… hope everyone’s ok.” I said.
The sirens continued. I could hear multiple sirens now, coming from different parts of the city, all converging on our area… My curiosity was now peaked. “OK what the hell is going on?” I thought. “Anyone wanna go find out what’s going on with me?” I said to the group, and one of my roommates said “I’ll come with you.” We walked off, expecting to walk over to the street 400m away.
As we stood up, we could see a single ambulance with no lights on driving into the park. I figured that the traffic was backed up, so this ambulance was cutting through the park to save time. As we kept walking, we saw it stop in a clearing, no more than 100m from where we were sitting.
As we walked closer, the first thing I noticed was the stretcher – it was outside of the ambulance, but completely unattended. Nobody on it, no paramedics near it. Next I noticed that there was a small crowd around the clearing where the ambulance had stopped. We kept walking. I noticed all the emergency personnel next. There were a number of police officers around, a couple of them were on their radios and I remember seeing one officer with a flustered, anxious look on her face.
A few metres in front of us, there was a bike crushed under a massive tree branch. The branch was the size of another tree. Between us and the brach, a team of EMTs were huddled around someone lying on the ground. One paramedic was doing compressions on the person’s chest, while another was using a balloon pump to push air into the person’s lungs. A couple others appeared to be treating the person for external injuries. They were doing everything they could.
A few police officers were hovering over the paramedics; they seemed to be talking to the EMT’s. One police officer walked away, and began putting yellow tape up around the area, telling people to move back. I assumed it was in case other branches were to fall. At the same time, 2 paramedics came over with a large, thick orange blanket. “They must be treating them for shock” I thought to myself.
As they laid the blanket over the person, beginning at their feet, the other paramedics moved out of the way. As they moved out of the way, I could see his face – he was young. I realized at that moment they were not taping off the area in case another branch fell, and they were not treating him for shock. “He’s gone.” I thought to myself, shaking my head. A moment later his head was covered by the orange blanket. Many gasps and ‘Oh my Gods’ could be heard. People were crying.
A few metres to the left of us, a police officer had just told the wife. She was hysterical. “No” I remember hearing through her tears. “I’m pregnant.” Others began to cry. The area was fully taped off – it was a crime scene now. We walked away, wishing we hadn’t given in to our curiosity. We walked back to our group, not 20 seconds away, where the mood was just as positive and relaxing as when we left. I cried a lot that night, thinking about her, about her child, about how quickly it all happened, and how little sense anything about it made.
The last news report I read stated that the wife was receiving treatment for shock. I can’t begin to imagine the emotional turmoil she must be experiencing. It’s a horrible tragedy.
Even if it’s just $5, please give whatever you can to help this family in their time of need:
And if you have a moment, sharing the link to this fundraiser with others could do an immense amount of good for the family. Thank you.