By Raynier Maharaj
The father of Rueshad Grant, the teenager who was killed after he was run over by a truck on the Carnival parade route on August 3, is calling on the Ministry of Transportation to institute new laws governing how trucks are allowed onto parades.
Devon Grant, 49, said there are safety issues regarding how trucks are allowed on parade routes, and believes that a law should be brought to make sure all trucks in parades have guard rails around the entire vehicle, including the wheels.
“We can’t wait for anyone to die again – why must another parent have to cry?” asked Grant, who is Jamaican by birth but a Canadian citizen for the last 30 years.
His call was prompted by reports that some people have been calling for trucks to be banned around school zones in the wake of Violent Liang’s death on Tuesday. The 14-year-old was run over by a truck as she made her way to CW Jeffreys Collegiate in North York on the first day of the new school term.
Grant was puzzled as to why such a call could be made in the case of Liang’s death when his own son died in what was a preventable accident, “if the trucks on parades were mandated to have guard rails.”
“The case with the 14 year-old girl is tragic,” said Grant. “I feel for the parents. But that was a different scenario – she was hit by a truck that was turning while she was walking. Yet we have calls for trucks to be banned from school zones in light of that accident.
“My son died, he was pushed under a truck and was crushed. If there were guard rails on the truck and around the wheels, his death could have been prevented. But yet no one seems to be insisting that trucks on parade routes have safety measures in place to prevent such an accident.
“Rueshad was a Canadian child, born here to parents who are Jamaican and Guyanese. He died in a manner that was preventable if the right measures were in place.
“I grieve for the parents of Violet, and I can understand the anger that prompted the call for trucks to be banned around school zones. However, I don’t see that as practical. What is practical is making it the law for trucks on parades to have guard rails all around, including the wheels, so that even if someone falls or is pushed next to a truck, they wouldn’t be pulled under.
“This city is a stage. There are parades all over it. We cannot let another person die like my son did. And we cannot ignore the fact that Rueshad died in that manner. We cannot just shut it out.
“We are asking Mayor Rob Ford to make sure that this happens – the City is the one that has to give permission for parades. Even if the Ministry of Transport is reluctant to enact new legislation, the Mayor should take the lead in making sure no more lives are lost in that manner by regulating how trucks are allowed onto parades in this city.”