TORONTO, Canada.-A rented van jumped onto a crowded Toronto sidewalk , killing ten people and injuring 16 before the driver fled and was later arrested in a confrontation with police, Canadian authorities said.
Witnesses said the driver was moving fast and appeared to be acting deliberately, but police said they did not yet know the cause or any possible motive. Toronto Police Services Deputy Chief Peter Yuen released no details about the investigation as he announced that ten people had died and 16 were injured.
Yuen said police were still interviewing witnesses and examining surveillance video of the incident as part of what he called a “complex” investigation.
The incident occurred as Cabinet ministers from the major industrial countries were gathered in Canada to discuss a range of international issues in the run-up to the G7 meeting near Quebec City in June.
Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale said that it was too soon to say whether the crash was a case of international terrorism and that the government had not raised its terrorism alert.
The driver was heading south on busy Yonge Street around 1:30 p.m. and the streets were crowded with people enjoying an unseasonably warm day when the van jumped onto the sidewalk. Ali Shaker, who was driving near the van at the time, told Canadian broadcast outlet CP24 that the driver appeared to be moving deliberately through the crowd at more than 30 mph.
“He just went on the sidewalk,” a distraught Shaker said. “He just started hitting everybody, man. He hit every single person on the sidewalk. Anybody in his way he would hit.” Video shown on several Canadian outlets showed police arresting the driver, dressed in dark clothes, after officers surrounded him several blocks from where the incident occurred in north Toronto.
A witness, Phil Zullo, told Canadian Press that he saw police arresting a man who had been driving a Ryder rental truck and saw people “strewn all over the road” where the incident occurred.