Bloor West Villager
The driver wanted in the hit-and-run death of a Swansea Public School teacher turned himself into police the following day.
Miguel Oliveira, 22, of Toronto, the driver of the minivan that allegedly struck Grade 2 teacher Tom Samson turned himself into 11 Division police Saturday at 9 a.m. He was charged with failing to stop at the scene of an accident causing death and was expected in court at Old City Hall, Sunday, Nov. 25.
Samson was hit by a vehicle Friday, Nov. 24 around 6:30 a.m. as he was attempting to cross to the north side of Davenport Road on his bike from the east side of Lansdowne Avenue when the vehicle travelling westbound hit him and fled.
The force of the impact threw Samson, 35, into the path of an eastbound van that also struck him. The second vehicle’s driver, a 63-year-old man, remained at the scene.
Samson was rushed to St. Michael’s Hospital where he died.
Meanwhile, Samson’s colleagues, friends and students are trying to make sense of his sudden death. A memorial comprised of photographs, flowers, cards and a book of condolences has been set up in the front foyer of the Windermere Avenue school.
Principal Karen Ridley recalled her friend and colleague as a funny guy, who was quick to smile. A practical joker, he’d arrive in the school’s office with an “applause metre” and “laugh box,” recalled Ridley. Samson taught at Swansea P.S. for eight years.
“He shared his love of life with everyone he met – his music, his chess, his basketball, his sense of humour and most importantly, his smile,” Ridley said in a letter to parents and students. “First and foremost though, he was a devoted husband and father to his two children aged seven and (nearly) five. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”
Swansea P.S. Council has set up a trust fund for the Samson family. The account is at the Bank of Montreal (Windermere and Bloor). Transit No. 0367, account No. 8980907.
Parents can also drop off cheques at the school office, made payable to “SSC – Tom Samson Memorial Fund.”
Services to celebrate Samson’s life will take place Tuesday Nov. 27 at Artscape Wychwood Barns, 76 Wychwood Ave. (St. Clair and Christie area). Visitation for family and friends takes place from noon to 1 p.m. followed by a celebration of his life from 1 to 2 p.m., which is open to the public. A private burial will follow immediately after the ceremony concludes.
To honour Samson’s love of reading and his dedication to helping young readers, the family is asking for donations to the Toronto Public Library Foundation, www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/support-us/tpl-foundation/