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Ripples from deadly crash wash over Girl Guides, schools, neighbourhoods


Schoolkids, Girl Guides and at least one mother were walking together before they were struck in a west London crash that killed an eight-year-old girl and left nine others injured.

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Schoolkids, Girl Guides and at least one mother were walking together before they were struck in a west London crash that killed an eight-year-old girl and left nine others injured.


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The Tuesday night collision rocked the city and left many Londoners reeling.

“We know how strong the Guiding sisterhood is in London and of course we all want to help as much as we can, but have been asked by those directly involved for privacy and space to heal,” Girl Guides of Canada executives Jill Zelmanovits and Jill Dundas wrote in a note to all of its leaders in the region.

The organization confirmed their members were involved in the crash but wouldn’t say how many or whether that included the eight-year-old girl who died.

“They know your love and support are there for them and they will reach out when they are ready, but at this time would prefer that there are no social media posts, service projects or direct contact.”


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Counselling services will be provided for Girl Guides across London, Zelmanovits and Dundas said.

The organization, which builds life and leadership skills in young women across the country, also warned leaders not to speak with the media.

Girl Guide programs, a common evening activity for girls, serve ages five to 17 through different levels that are called Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers. Brownie groups are designed for seven- and eight-year-olds.

Many units, which often operate out of churches or schools, held sessions outside during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the nine survivors, two children and a teen hurt in the crash were treated and released from hospital, London police said Wednesday afternoon. Five other girls remained in hospital, four in fair condition and one in good condition. One injured adult, a female, was also in hospital in fair condition.


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London police said the injured girls and women ranged in age from six to 40. Their group was struck while walking on the north side of Riverside Drive, near Wonderland Road, after a driver blew through the red light, struck another vehicle, a tree and a light post, police said.

A mother and daughter originally from South Africa are two of the injured pedestrians, according to an online fundraiser set up to support their family.

Laurie and Kylie Hugo, 8, were both in hospital after the crash, a friend wrote on their GoFundMe page.

“Kylie has some deep cuts and a broken shoulder blade while her mother is in worse condition. She is in the ICU and they are preparing for a second surgery,” the fundraiser’s organizer, Nicole Crompton, wrote.


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Laurie is conscious and has been able to see her daughter, she wrote.

The family of four recently moved to London from Pretoria, South Africa, and Crompton described parents Laurie and Dave as “two of the nicest, most kind people you could meet.”

The couple has two children, Kylie and Bryce.

The Thames Valley District school board said four of its pupils were hurt in the Tuesday night crash, including the eight-year-old who died. Names and schools were not released to respect the families’ privacy, the board said in a statement.

“I want to express my heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and community members who have been affected by this sad event,” Mark Fisher, director of education, said in a statement.

The London District Catholic school board also issued a statement saying one member of its school community was impacted.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all schools and families impacted by this tragic event,” the board wrote.




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