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‘Nobody can fill her place:’ family remembers woman killed in TTC crash

Manoranjana Kanakagasabaghy, 52, was killed when a truck hit a TTC bus on the border of Markham and Scarborough on Aug. 14, 2013. HANDOUT

The family of a 52-year-old woman killed in a TTC bus crash on Tuesday says “nobody can fill her place.”

“We can’t believe what happened,” Mr. Sachchithananthan, cousin of victim Manoranjana Kanakagasabaghy, said Wednesday.

“We couldn’t sleep last night. I had nightmares,” he said.

Kanakagasabaghy had two grown children: a daughter, who is married with a child, and a son.

“They are doing very bad…her family is coming from all over the world to be with them,” Sunthareswary Sachchithananthan, another cousin, said.

“Nobody can fill her place.”

A TTC bus and cube truck crashed head-on in Scarborough, killing Kanakagasabaghy and injuring 12 others. Police said Wednesday another woman, who was exiting the bus, was also taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The collision happened on Steeles Avenue, just east of McCowan Road, around 11:40 a.m.

Police say the driver of the cube truck, a 40-year-old man, was heading east on Steeles. The bus was stopped on the north side of Steeles when the cube truck crossed into the westbound lanes, mounted the curb, struck a hydro pole and hit the front corner of the bus.

Kanakagasabaghy was boarding the bus and the other woman, who is 43, was exiting at the time, police say.

Sachchithananthan said she was an “amazing” lady who was always the first person at every family function. She was likely on her way from a temple to her job at a TD Canada Trust when she was killed, he said.

Witnesses said the bus had stopped to let passengers off when an eastbound vehicle smashed into it.

Karan Shetty was in the immediate area when it happened and said he saw the truck driver talking on a cellphone moments before the crash.  Police have not confirmed his account.

“He (the truck driver) was on the phone all along. I saw him at the intersection on the phone,” Shetty said.  “It happened in front of me. I could see she (Kanakagasabaghy) was breathing her last breaths. It’s very horrible.”

The TTC’s Brad Ross said on Twitter that the Jaws of Life were used to extract the bus driver from the wreckage.  The driver. 36, was taken to hospital as a precaution with minor neck injuries.

Police are investigating. No charges have been laid.

Manoranjana Kanakagasabaghy visitation and funeral information:

Highland Funeral Home, 3280 Sheppard Avenue, Scarborough (Sheppard and Warden)

Visitations: Saturday, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday, 7 a.m. – 9 a.m.

Funeral: Sunday, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.