Firefighter Charged In Fatal Collision


A car sits in ruins by a downed pole on after being struck by a fire truck. The driver died in hospital. Photo by Susie Kockerscheidt.

This story originally appeared in the Vaughan Citizen

A Vaughan firefighter has been charged with careless driving in connection to a fatal car collision earlier this month, in what police say appears to be the first time such a charge has been laid against a local firefighter.

The accident occurred on Feb. 2 at about 10:35 a.m. when a Vaughan fire truck traveling eastbound on Major Mackenzie Drive collided with a Toyota Camry at an intersection of the exit ramp from northbound Hwy. 400.

The fire truck was on route in response to a call.

The impact caused the Toyota to spin out of control and hit a light pole. The pole collapsed as a result of the collision.

The Toyota was driven by a 54-year-old Vaughan man. He was transported to hospital where he died. He was the only occupant of the vehicle.

The name of the deceased has not been released at the request of the family. Four firefighters were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Const. Rebecca Boyd of York Regional Police said she could not recall any similar incidents in Vaughan.

The Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service said they do not generally release personal information about employees, but said the employee who has been charged has not been suspended. No other details were released.

“It’s before the courts so we’re not at liberty to talk about it whatsoever,” said Deputy Fire Chief Larry Bentley.

Gianmarco Solimena, 30, of Vaughan, has been charged with careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act.

York Regional Police define careless driving as “driving a vehicle on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway.”

Careless driving differs from the more serious charge of dangerous driving in that latter is a Criminal Code offence. record.

Mr. Solimena is scheduled to appear before the Provincial Offences Justice Court in Newmarket on March 29.

The collision marked the 11th fatality on York Region roads this year, including three pedestrians.

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