Friends and family of a Toronto woman who was killed in a car crash in Innisfil this past fall are appealing for witnesses to come forward to police.
Tamerra London, 22, was on her way home to Toronto from Sudbury on the evening of Nov. 22 when her Honda Accord, which was travelling southbound on 5th Sideroad near Highway 89, collided with a white Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck that was heading northbound, sending both vehicles into the ditch.
London was pronounced dead at the scene.
The young woman's death has caused overwhelming pain and grief for her family and friends who are looking for answers as to what went devastatingly wrong that night.
The Sudbury-to-Toronto drive was one London was very much familiar with.
In April, London had completed her undergraduate degree with honours at Laurentian University in Sudbury in the biomedical biology program. She would often drive back and forth from Toronto to Sudbury, visiting with her boyfriend and friends.
"There has to be someone out there that maybe knows something," said Innisfil resident Erin Bell, a good friend of London's from university.
Prior to the deadly crash, Bell said London had popped into a friend's house in Orillia before embarking on the last leg of her journey home.
Bell remembers the roads being in bad condition that night.
"It was one of our first huge snowfalls. The roads were full of slush and I feel like that had a lot to do with it," Bell said.
Bell says London's family members are having a hard time, not having the closure needed to move on and find peace.
"It's still open, so we don't know a lot at all (about the investigation)," said Bell. "They (London's family) just want closure so they can move on and heal from it instead of wondering what happened."
London was full of life and was loved by many. She is deeply missed by her parents, siblings, cousins, nephews, boyfriend and friends.
Her boyfriend, Thomas Harrington, says she always had a positive outlook on life. He described her as a night owl with a love of music, adventure and people.
"She felt like home whenever you were with her," he said.
Harrington first met London at school in 2017. He fell in love with her zest for life, passion for helping others and caring nature. He has been having a hard time since his girlfriend's unexpected death, but will cherish the memories of their time together forever.
"She was super important to a lot of people," Harrington said.
London was also an active volunteer and community leader.
"She was one of those people who wanted to change the world," said Bell.
London was also involved with the Black Lives Matter group in Sudbury, as chair of the education committee, and a passionate advocate for the rights of Indigenous people. She spent a lot of her time volunteering in the community and would often send food and clothes to her family's home country, Guyana. She had planned to visit the South American country one day and help volunteer in the field of education.
Harrington said London was making a name for herself and had recently published two papers — one on fish in Guyana and another on Indigenous culture.
"She had such a great outlook on life and she had so much to offer the world," said Bell. "It's so true that the good ones really do die young."
After the crash, which was just two weeks shy of London's 23rd birthday, her friends got together in Sudbury for a small socially distanced celebration of life.
The BLM Sudbury group created a GoFundMe page to help the family cover funeral expenses, raising $13,000.
"Any death in any year is hard, but in a COVID year it's harder because you can't be there for each other," said Bell.
"It was really something to see how her family was consoling all of us even though they're really hurting, too," added Harrington.
Family and friends have created a memorial, featuring a white bicycle surrounded by lights, flowers and photos at the scene of the collision on 5th Sideroad, south of Highway 89.
Details surrounding the crash are still under investigation.
"It's a very tragic case," said South Simcoe police Acting Staff Sgt. Dave Phillips. "I feel for these families. There's a real search for answers."
Phillips sympathizes with their situation, noting these types of investigations can take time, looking at the science behind the collision and poring over reports, which sometimes don't result in charges.
He says police are being thorough in examining all the evidence and information before making any conclusions, adding that with COVID-19 there have been delays in the process.
Phillips says it's refreshing to see family and friends going to great lengths to help with the investigation.
Anyone who has any information that may be helpful in the investigation can contact South Simcoe Police directly at (905) 775-3311.