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19-year-old driver faces impaired charges in fatal Richmond Hill crash

Last Updated Aug 19, 2019 at 1:54 pm EDT

A 19-year-old is facing impaired driving charges in connection with a fatal four-vehicle crash in Richmond Hill.

York Region police were called to Yonge Street and Townwood Drive, near Jefferson Forest Drive, just before 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.

A 44-year-old man from Richmond Hill was pronounced dead at the scene. Five other people were injured — two of them are in serious condition.

Police said a Mercedes was travelling southbound on Yonge when it struck a Hyundai, a Toyota Sienna van and a Mazda.

One of the vehicles, the Mazda, flipped over and caught fire. Several witnesses ran to the scene to help the victims.

The occupants of the Mazda were trapped inside, including the 44-year-old man. Two other passengers in the Mazda, a 40-year-old woman and a 12-year-old boy — both also from Richmond Hill — were taken to hospital in serious condition. Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

The driver of the Hyundai was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

The driver and passenger in the Mercedes were taken to hospital with minor injuries, and the two people in the Toyota Sienna van were not injured.

The driver of the Mercedes, Fereidoon Hayatibahari, from Richmond Hill, is facing impaired driving-related charges, including impaired driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death. Hayatibahari has since been released from hospital.

“This is a tragic loss for this family and our community as a result of impaired driving,” York police Chief Eric Jolliffe said in a release.

“This behavior is unacceptable and keeps happening despite our ongoing efforts. The message is clear: Don’t drink or use drugs and drive.”