Their Mercedes SUV collided with a Ford SUV driven by a local resident about 11 pm on November 25 on Highway 60 near Huntsville, Ontario. Jessica Lynn Ward, a mother of two teenagers and a healthcare worker, died in the crash.
The students ranged in age from 15 to 17 and were living in Toronto and suburban Richmond Hill, Ontario. Officials did not indicate whether they attended private schools or were enrolled in school district international programs.
Constable Dana Morris, of the Ontario Provincial Police, told The PIE News that she could not provide the names of the deceased students due to a police department policy.
She said road conditions were good at the time of the accident. “The conditions that night – the roads weren’t slick, there was no snow-cover and the weather was clear,” she said.
A number of Canadian school districts, such as Central Okanagan Public Schools in Kelowna, British Columbia, prohibit their international students from driving due to safety concerns. Bonnie McKie, executive director of the Canadian Association of Public Schools – International, said she did not know how many school boards across the country ban driving.
CAPS-I does not track this information, she said.
The Toronto consulate of the People’s Republic of China confirmed the deaths of the four students. “We immediately reached out to the students’ families,” the consulate said in a statement.
“Since the case is under investigation and for privacy reasons, we have no more information to share at this time,” the consulate said.
In Ontario, newcomers can drive for up to 60 days with a foreign license. After this, they must obtain an Ontario license. The province has a graduated licensing system for new drivers, but Morris would not disclose what kind of license the Chinese driver had.
Morris said the crash is still under investigation by the force’s Technical Collision Investigators.