TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Flowers and stuffed animals have been placed around a tree bordering Princess Avenue near Ninth Street as a memorial for a toddler struck and killed by a vehicle on Saturday.
Flowers and Teddy bears surround a tree at Princess Park — a makeshift memorial for a toddler struck and killed by a vehicle downtown Saturday.
The two-year-old Brandon boy died after he ran out from between two parked vehicles on the 800-block of Princess Avenue just after 5 p.m.
A woman who identified herself as the victim’s aunt, confirmed the boy’s name is Julian Boone.
Tributes to the toddler and his family have been pouring out on social networking sites ever since the tragic accident.
"A very sad occurrence is what it is," said Staff Sgt. Gay Jones of the Brandon Police Service.
Hundreds of people were gathered at the Kristopher Campbell Memorial Skate Plaza and in Princess Park at the time for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Skate-A-Thon.
The toddler was hit by a westbound Chevrolet Equinox, driven by a 42-year-old Brandon woman. The boy was taken to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
When asked if there would be any charges laid against the driver, Jones said it’s still too early to say, as the case is still under investigation.
"I know they are still in the infancy of the investigation," she said. "I don’t know if they have ruled anything in or out at this time."
The accident on Princess Avenue was one of many serious collisions on Westman roads over the weekend.
A 22-year-old woman from Cypress River died early Sunday morning, after the vehicle she was travelling in lost control and rolled in the Rural Municipality of Victoria.
The 22-year-old male driver was transported to Glenboro hospital and transported by air ambulance to Winnipeg with serious injuries.
A 46-year-old female was transported to Brandon hospital with serious injuries, while a 21-year-old man and 25-year-old woman were both transported to Glenboro Hospital and received treatment for their injuries.
Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the fatal rollover.
"It’s been a very busy weekend for our officers," said Sgt. Line Karpish, Manitoba RCMP spokesperson.
"There has been unfortunately some serious crashes, some of which did involve alcohol … Overall we’re very concerned as an organization when there are so many serious crashes. We certainly call upon the public to … exercise due care out there when their driving."
Two serious crashes occurred on Highway 10 north of Brandon near a construction zone. The first happened on Friday morning, when an SUV failed to stop at a lineup of cars, waiting to be piloted through. It caused a chain-reaction crash that involved five vehicles.
Two people were taken to hospital.
Then on Saturday afternoon, a car carrying three people veered into the ditch and hit an approach approximately 18 kilometres north of Brandon on Highway 10. At least two people were taken from the scene by ambulance.
Brandon RCMP Staff Sgt. Mike Zens said he doesn’t believe there’s a lack of construction signage, but rather driver inattention that is causing the crashes.
"Quite frankly the signage … is very appropriate," Zens said. "I’m not sure what more could be done. I believe that the motoring public needs to take responsibility and recognize, and pay closer attention … I believe that these crashes had nothing to do with improper signage, I think they’re just driver inattention for whatever reason."
A government spokesperson with Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation said there are four flag persons, as well as two pilot vehicles to guide cars through the construction zone, which is an "appropriate level of co-ordination for this type of roadwork."
The project on Highway 10 covers 15.2 km from the Trans-Canada Highway to Highway 25.
A total of $15.7 million is being spent to widen the grade, install new passing lanes including paved shoulders and other improvements to the existing road surface which is being milled and then repaved.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 26, 2012