Ontario Provincial Police have charged a man in connection with a January collision on the QEW which claimed the life of 22-year-old Nicole Turcotte of Niagara Falls and left a 19-year-old woman in hospital in critical condition.
Police believe the crash was caused by an instance of road rage, in which a vehicle merged into the left lane of the highway and slowed suddenly with no explanation, causing a five car pile-up behind it. The driver of the vehicle then fled the scene without injury.
OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said a suspect surrendered himself to police late Wednesday night and was arrested Thursday.
Charged with dangerous driving causing death, dangerous driving causing bodily harm, failure to remain at the scene of a collision causing bodily harm and failure to remain at the scene of a collision causing death 32-year-old is Yasir Baig of Mississauga.
Schmidt said the arrest was made possible with the help of public tips and social media keeping the story alive.
Turcotte’s cousin Brandy Sommer-Wood said she is grateful to the public for their help in getting Baig to surrender himself to police and providing some closure to her family.
“She was loved,” Sommer-Wood said of her cousin during a press conference on Thursday.
“She made an impact on this world in 22 years that most people don’t make in 50 or 100 years … and now she’s gone.”
Schmidt played a message left on Sommer-Wood’s phone by Turcotte’s mother.
“She isn’t going to make it,” says a woman’s voice, fighting back tears.
Schmidt said he played the message because it “really tells the true feeling and heartache that families are going through when we deal with this.”
“We deal with traffic fatalities far too often.”
A video of the press conference can be found at, www.pscp.tv/w/1zqKVrmWAkmKB.
A story about Nicole Turcotte can be found here.