On May 13th at about 11:40 AM I was driving south on highway 410 to go to Stratford as my son was in a rugby tournament. As I approached the Steeles overpass I saw something that no one should ever have to see. I immediately stopped past the Steeles overpass and along with a few other drivers, some who had gotten out of their cars, worked hard to stop traffic by yelling and honking our horns, before police can arrive.
It was a long two hours as about 8 of us stayed to give statements of what had occurred and what we had seen. Needless to say, I did not make it to my son’s rugby tournament and as the police released me and I started driving home, the only thought that went through my mind was what could have happened or cause a young teenager at 11:49 am to be standing on the Steeles overpass and seconds later be laying 50 feet in front of me on the 410. What could have happened that he felt that no one can help him or understand him. As I got home I kept texting my son and letting him know how much I love him and as I do that often, I felt the need to keep doing it until he came home safe so that I can give him the biggest hug and squeeze him a little tighter than usual.
While waiting at home I searched the internet to find news on the incident, but little or none was written except an article by the Brampton Guardian titled “Hwy. 410 south closed after pedestrian killed” by Peter Cristione. Now I understand the reasons why most do not report on such incidents, but we must look beyond the incident at hand and concentrate on the reasons and the solutions. The reasons to why young teenagers feel in such a way and how we as parents, teachers, doctors, coaches, instructors, family and friends can help in making such situations better. Maybe we need more speakers at the schools on bullying, depression, mental health, motivation and/or dealing with life as a teenager, maybe we need to pay more attention and listen to our kids, maybe we need to be persistent in getting some answers when our teens don’t want to talk, what ever it may be, we need to do more. We need the support, funds and programs from the Ministry of Education and the government because no child should ever feel that they are alone and no one can help them in what they are going through.
To all the kids and teens out there: There will be times in your life when you will be hurt, when the pain will seem unbearable and people will say and do things that are senseless and cruel and make you question life, but know that things will get better. Talk to your parents, they will do anything and everything to help you. If not your parents talk to someone close to you, a relative, a friend, a teacher, a doctor or call a help line, there is a lot more people willing to help than not. Please SPEAK OUT …. We will listen.
Although what I saw will not soon go away, it is nothing compared to what his parents, family and friends are going through. My heart goes out to you all and I can only hope that together we can help our children feel safe, loved and understood. I know after what I experienced, even though I already talk my son’s ears out, will do it more, will hug him more, will listen to him more and be persistent as hell in making sure that he is okay and hope and pray that it will be enough to keep him safe.
I am greatly saddened by the situation and reach out to everyone with the power to help to do so.
Please Note: Out of respect and privacy for the family and friends some comments may not be posted and names, age and private information will be removed from the comments.