TORONTO, Canada, Monday August 5, 2013 – Organizers of the Caribbean Carnival parade here have expressed “heartfelt sympathies” to the friends and family of a teen-age reveller who died after he was reportedly ran over by a float over the weekend.
“We are deeply saddened by this loss,” said Denise Herrerra-Jackson, chief executive officer of the Carnival’s festival management committee.
“The Toronto Police are conducting a full and thorough investigation, and we will assist them in any way we can,” she said in a statement.
Toronto police have identified the victim as Rueshad Grant, 18, of Mississauga, a Toronto suburb. The authorities said he was killed on Saturday night.
“This is an accident. You know what accidents are? You don’t plan for them,” said Chris Alexander, the Carnival’s chief operating officer, told a Canadian English language cable and satellite television station.
Organizers said the incident marred an otherwise peaceful and festive carnival that attracted about one million people and is considered second in North America to Brooklyn, New York’s West Indian American Day Carnival Parade.
“This event is meant for all Canadians,” Herrera-Jackson told reporters, adding that over 500,000 Caribbean nationals “mostly from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana” reside in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), “and it also adds to the rich, multicultural fabric of Canada”.
She said the Caribbean parade, originally known as CARIBANA, has been a staple in the GTA for 43 years.