On a warm night last August, some 2,000 teenagers gathered for an end-of-summer party at Woodbine Beach. My 17-year-old son, Alex, and his friends Madison and Justin were among them. They’d heard about the party through Facebook and had been looking forward to it for two weeks. DJs would be there playing hip hop and rap, the kind of music Alex was passionate about.
The party was harmless but loud, and at 10 p.m., the police moved in to break it up. Squad cars equipped with loudspeakers ordered the kids to leave the area. A team of about 30 officers on horseback, bicycles and ATVs appeared, sending hundreds of kids toward Lake Shore Boulevard. Alex and his friends decided to go back to Madison’s house just across the street, but most of the kids weren’t from the neighbourhood, so they headed en masse to the bus stop at Lake Shore and Northern Dancer. The first bus to arrive filled up immediately, and the driver pulled out onto Lake Shore, choosing to skip the next stop, where dozens more teenagers were waiting. According to Madison, the boys assumed the bus was going to stop; they thought there was time to run across the road. Madison made it. Alex was one stride away from the safety of the median when the bus hit him, propelling him up the street and running over him before coming to a stop.
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