The family of a toddler who died after she was struck by a falling air conditioning unit has hired a lawyer to investigate the incident.
Crystal Mirogho was just 2½-years-old when she was hit by a heavy window-mounted air conditioning unit that had fallen from the eighth storey of a Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) building in the area of Lawrence Avenue East and Mossbank Drive on Monday afternoon.
Crystal was in a stroller being pushed by her mother at the time.
The toddler’s family issued an emotional statement late Tuesday, saying they’re “devastated” by what happened.
“Our family has lost our precious baby girl Crystal,” the Mirogho family said.
“We would ask that through this difficult time we be given the opportunity to grieve our loss privately. We wanted to thank the public for the outpouring of support for our family while we are struggling to cope with this tragedy.”
Slavko Ristich, a personal injury lawyer from Ristich Law, said that he’s been hired by the family to conduct an investigation into the death.
“Ristich Law is actively investigating this matter and we believe this was an entirely preventable incident and hope to seek improvements made at all TCHC buildings, so as to protect all TCHC tenants and visitors in the future,” Ristich said in a statement.
No charges laid
Const. Caroline de Kloet, spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service, said there are currently no charges pending.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Toronto Mayor John Tory called the toddler’s death a “terrible tragedy.”
“My thoughts are with the family involved and the people in that building. I’m sure it is traumatizing for them.”
Tory said police and TCHC will do a “thorough investigation” on what may have led to the air conditioner coming loose and plunging to the ground.
In a statement on its website, TCHC said it’s “deeply saddened” by the death. TCHC staff were at the building on Tuesday to help tenants who required support.
“Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time and we offer them our sincere condolences,” it said.
TCHC said it would review the incident. “We will take any appropriate action once the facts are known,” it added.
Agency had issued warning about dangers of AC units
On its website, TCHC warns tenants about the dangers posed by window AC units.
“Improperly installed window air conditioners are a serious safety hazard to you and your family, and can fall onto other people.”
TCHC also says tenants must get permission to install the units and they should be placed over balconies whenever possible.
“You may be held liable for injuries or property damage from improperly installed window air conditioners,” its website says.
As of Wednesday morning, more than $11,000 has been raised on a GoFundMe page to help the family with funeral expenses and to relocate to another building.
According to the page, Crystal’s mother and two siblings saw the AC unit fall on the toddler.
“She was the youngest in our family and the light of our lives,” the GoFundMe page says. “The family cannot bear to go back to the same building where their daughter was killed.”