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Suspected drunk driver charged after woman hit near U of T

Last Updated Mar 15, 2018 at 5:33 pm EST

A suspected drunk driver has been charged after a 21-year-old woman was struck by a vehicle in downtown Toronto.

Police say the woman was hit while crossing the street at a marked crosswalk in the Huron and College streets area around 2:30 a.m. Thursday. The driver was going the wrong way on Huron at the time.

The driver has been identified as 19-year-old Rylan Balappa-Lawes of Missassauga.

“She was thrown some fair distance, in behind some construction cladding and beside a dumpster. She is just lucky somebody saw her get hit and was able to search for her,” Const. Clint Stibbe told 680 NEWS.

“[The driver] left her for dead. And the reality is, had somebody not seen her get hit, she would have been.”

She was rushed to hospital, where she remains with life-threatening injuries.

The driver fled the scene, but police located the SUV in the Spadina Road and Eglinton Avenue area in Forest Hill.

Balappa-Lawes is facing five charges including criminal negligence causing bodily harm, fail to stop after accident causing bodily harm, impaired operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm, over 80 milligrams operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm.

He will appear in court on March 15.