A 5-year-old Canadian girl and cancer survivor was killed on Monday, Jan. 15, after she was pinned by an empty SUV.
Camila Torcato was diagnosed with cancer when she was only around 2 years old. She underwent multiple surgeries on her kidneys and lungs before she finally finished her chemotherapy, the Toronto Star reported.
She was slated to begin grade one in September this year.
But her future was cut short when she was about to get into her father’s car after school. They were heading home.
According to the newspaper, an empty SUV rolled toward them, effectively pinning the two against their own car at the St. Raphael Catholic School.
Amilcar Torcato, Camila’s father, said he could not recall how much time passed as they remained stuck between the two vehicles before they were eventually freed.
According to CTV News Toronto, the girl was rushed to hospital but later died on the same day.
The father said his daughter’s organs were failing and that she was suffering from internal bleeding.
“She was a very special girl, she had problems before, she had cancer, but she was a fighter,” Torcato told the Toronto Star on Tuesday. “She was a very sweet girl, shy, but very sweet; my mind is filled with her memories.
“I went to pick her up in school because the day before she asked me if I could,” he went on to say. “Usually her mom picks her up, but that day I did.”
A family friend, Ana Paula Carrera said the news shook her world.
“This is horrible news and I can’t describe the pain (her parents) are going through,” Carrera told CTV News.
The friend said the child’s mother called her from the hospital on Monday.
“She called me—I don’t remember at what exact time—but she was at the hospital and she asked me to pray and I don’t know how many hours after she called me to let me know that Camila unfortunately passed,” she told CTV News.
It’s not clear as of writing whether the empty SUV rolling was caused by driver error or mechanical issues.
The owner of the SUV was also picking up a child when the incident occurred, CTV reported. The spot is a high-traffic area in the school.
The child’s father issued a warning to other drivers.
“I want people to just be careful with parking the cars around schools. Make sure you stop the motor, and to not go out without stopping the motor,” Amilcar told the Toronto Star. “This could happen again, yesterday it was her, tomorrow, it can be another child.”
Sandra Taglieri, whose two girls attend a nearby school said she was speechless over what occurred.
“I have—I’m going to choke up, it’s so horrible—my children; same age,” Taglieri told the newspaper. “And as a community, you come together and you’re affected by it. It’s tragedy. No words. I don’t know how to explain it.”