‘A full day, we cried here’: Neighbours weep for 2 ‘gentle’ boys killed in Mississauga crash
A chorus of joyful shrieks normally break the quiet on summer nights in this residential Mississauga neighbourhood as its children try to squeeze in a few more minutes outside before the sun sets.
But on Monday night there were only sounds of grief as children and their parents comforted each other in the hours following the deaths of Keziah Edwards-Young, 13, and his nephew, Ayon Brown, 5.
The boys who lived on this street near Winston Churchill and Erin Mills Parkway were killed just 10 minutes from home when a driver crossed the median and crashed into the vehicle in which they were travelling Sunday night. The driver of the vehicle that traversed the highway died in the collision as well.
In this neighbourhood, the other kids have been devastated by the deaths of their friends, Simone Wellington said Tuesday.
“It’s brought all the kids in tears,” she said. “And the parents also. Yesterday, I was out here with around 10 or 11 kids and we were all crying.”
They scrawled chalky tributes to the boys on the sidewalk and the street, the words and pictures washed away by the rain overnight.
A family in mourning
Ayon’s mother, Lekeisha Edwards-Smith, remains in hospital after being taken there in critical condition. The 25-year-old woman’s health has improved, however, and she was listed in stable condition on Tuesday afternoon, her mother Jeanette Edwards told CBC Toronto.
Wellington has lived near the family for seven years — and drove Edwards to the scene of the crash on Sunday night.
“She’s trying her best to stay strong,” the neighbour said, noting that her friend lost both a son and a grandson in the crash. Both boys lived with Edwards.
“Every time she walks around her house there’s something to remind her of them,” Wellington said. “Can you imagine how that feels? To know that you’ll never be able to see them or touch them again?”
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Other neighbours described Keziah as a gracious and loving teen, the kind of kid who would sprint over to help when he saw someone come home with bags of groceries.
“He’s gentle, friendly; he always helping the people,” Sefka Misuric told CBC Toronto. “A full day, we cried here.”
The boys, Edwards-Smith, her partner and her goddaughter had been travelling northbound on Winston Churchill Boulevard when they were struck by a Mazda driving in the opposite direction around 11 p.m. Sunday, according to police.
The Mazda’s driver, Canville Roberts, 40, died at the scene near the Queen Elizabeth Way.
Searching for witnesses
Both cars were destroyed in the crash, one reduced to a smouldering heap of metal scraps. Police have said that high speed may have been a factor in the collision.
Police are appealing for witnesses who may have seen the crash, have dashboard video footage, or who may have information about the drivers prior to the crash.
Jynnai Hartley, 7, a passenger in the Mercedes along with the boys and Edwards-Smith, was taken to a Toronto hospital, where she remains in stable condition. Camall Brown-Williams, 24, the driver of the Mercedes and Ayon’s father, suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash.
Friends of the Edwards family have launched an online fundraiser to help the family with funeral and any health-care expenses. They had raised more than $3,600 as of Tuesday night.
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