TORONTO -- A pedestrian is dead after being struck by what is alleged to be a police cruiser escorting a funeral procession in the city's west end.
Around 60 people were reportedly part of the procession around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday when the vehicle struck a female pedestrian.
A witness described seeing the cruiser stopped metres from the woman's body, with mourners from the motorcade climbing out of their vehicles to help.
Around half of the vehicles in the procession were unable to continue to the burial site after the woman was struck, but the rest of them carried on to Glenview Memorial Gardens, where 73-year-old Roland Fletcher was laid to rest.
"It's a tragic situation in every way possible," Carlton Brown, who was part of the procession, told media at the scene. "Fortunately, the family is strong. They are holding together and we are trying to move on."
Brown, who was near the front of the procession, added that he had seen the woman being struck through his rear-view mirror and immediately slammed on his brakes.
"I saw her basically flip in the air and fall behind the car," Brown said. "I assume she hit her head on the ground."
The province's Special Investigations Unit has been called in to oversee the investigation. The SIU has assigned six investigators, a collision reconstruction specialist and three forensic investigators to probe the incident. The SIU is an arm's-length agency that investigates incidents of death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault when police are involved.
Police spokesman Const. Tony Vella could not comment, saying only that the investigation is in the hands of the SIU.