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Driver charged in traffic death of daughter of Conservative Party president

Charles Smith, 6, looks at bouquets of flowers at a memorial for seven-year-old traffic victim Georgia Walsh. Charles played on a local baseball team with Georgia.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

A 50-year-old man now faces two driving-related charges in the death of a seven-year-old girl who was struck by a vehicle on a road where residents had complained of traffic diverted by nearby construction work.

According to a Toronto Police press release, the man was driving a 1998 Toyota Sienna Minivan southbound on McRae Drive through Toronto's Leaside neighbourhood and made a right turn to go westbound on Millwood Rd.

It was just after 4 p.m. on July 16. A girl who was in the intersection at the time was struck by the minivan and was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries and later died.

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Residents of the area identified the young girl as Georgia Walsh, the daughter of Conservative Party president John Walsh.

A mostly residential area, many in Leaside had complained of an increased amount of traffic over the years. Part of the blame went to construction for the Eglinton Crosstown light-rail transit line, which has reduced the street to two lanes and encouraged drivers top seek side routes, as well as traffic from nearby commercial and big-box developments.

On July 17, Toronto Police Constable Clint Stibbe, of the traffic services unit, told the Globe and Mail that the driver was co-operating.

The 50 year-old driver has now been charged with failing to stop at a red light and careless driving. He is scheduled to appear in College Park Courts on Sept 8.

Toronto police Constable David Hopkinson said that because the charges are a provincial offence and not a criminal offence that police will not release the name of the man who is charged.

With a report from Josh Wingrove

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