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Globe & Mail - Posted on 28/04/06 - By Oliver Moore

McCallion's driving being investigated after crash

Hazel McCallion's driving is being investigated by police after the Mississauga mayor's car crashed on the way home from a function Wednesday evening.

The 85-year-old was able to walk away from the accident but the car was left inoperable, Constable Kathy Weylie of Peel Regional Police said yesterday.

Ms. McCallion was driving alone about an hour after sundown when she lost control of her car in the intersection of McLaughlin and Britannia Roads, a couple of blocks south of Highway 401 in the eastern half of the city.

The vehicle hit a pole and sustained damage to the front end. No other vehicles were involved in the incident, which is being probed by Peel police.

"Because of her high profile, that's why the chief made the decision to have traffic services investigate," said Constable Weylie, who explained that a routine accident would be investigated but would not normally receive this level of scrutiny. Constable Weylie noted that road conditions in Mississauga seemed good that night.

"I was driving home that night and the weather was clear, the roads were dry," she said. "I don't know about that particular intersection, but generally it was clear."James Pasternak, an official with DriveWise, a refresher course for seniors run in conjunction with the Ontario Provincial Police, said that older drivers can be very reluctant to give up their keys. Many families don't press the issue effectively, he added, and it can take an accident before some drivers accept the reality of declining abilities.

Mr. Pasternak said that drivers can get an in-car assessment of driving abilities and, if concerned, sign up for a refresher course.

"We set up a lot of DriveWise presentations in Mississauga; certainly the mayor is welcome to attend one."


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