Body recovered, car pulled from Lake Ontario

Oct 30, 2016 | News

By: Reagan McSwain

Toronto police on Friday recovered a body from the Toronto Harbour after a car crashed through a guardrail on Thursday.

Because of visibility factors – both darkness and depth of the water – the search for the car and recovery of the body had been on hold until first thing Friday morning.

The body was recovered by divers around 9:30 a.m. and the car around 11 a.m.

Police were called to a bridge on Cherry Street at around 4 p.m. on Thursday by a witness to the accident.

A 2011 Silver Toyota Corolla heading north on Cherry Street “went up over a curb, through a guard rail and into the channel,” said Toronto Police Const. Clinton Stibbe.

“Speed we know is a factor in this collision but there are a number of issues we need to look at,” said  Stibbe.

Police have not yet identified the victim, but believe the person driving was a woman in her 50s.

Two people passing by, one on a bicycle, tried to rescue the driver. “They were unsuccessful,” said Stibbe.

The cyclist, who dove in after the woman still in the car, was later taken to hospital and treated for hypothermia.

Water ranges from 25-30 feet deep

A rail guard is brought up from the water beneath the bridge.

A guardrail is brought up from the water beneath the bridge on Friday.

The body has been transported to the marine unit for a coroner’s investigation. “We still have to determine if there was any sort of medical episode like a heart attack,” said Stibbe.

Once into position, a tow truck attached the straps needed to pull the car out of the water.

“After being pulled out of the water, they essentially need to let it lose some weight, which is some of the water it has accumulated,” said Stibbe.

After dangling suspended in the air to drain, it was loaded onto a barge and then over to Pier 51 and onto police tow trucks so it can be investigated by police.

If not damaged by the water, the ‘black box’ built into the car, may be able to reveal to authorities what was happening mechanically right before the crash.

“We are looking at a different number of factors but until we complete the investigation we can’t say exactly what caused this collision,” said Stibbe.