Mother speaks out about son’s death following Vaughan collision

A 16-year-old, who died in a single-vehicle crash in Vaughan that sent four other teens to hospital on New Years Day, has been identified as Daniel Zeno.

The victim’s mother Nadia Zeno confirmed his identity with Global News Thursday morning.

York Regional Police said officers were called to the scene of the crash at King Vaughan Road and Kipling Avenue just after midnight on Tuesday.

Staff. Sgt. Andrew Bell told Global News the blue Kia Sportage the teens were travelling in was heading westbound on King Vaughan Road when it “left the roadway for unknown reasons.” He said the vehicle then struck some trees and came to a rest on the side of the road.

“The road has a fairly sharp turn south and then it corrects back,” Bell said. “That would be speculating as to why the accident happened, but I’m sure that may have been an impact factor.”

Officers said the 17-year-old female driver of the vehicle and a 16-year-old boy suffered minor injuries in the crash, while a 16-year-old girl was sent to hospital with serious injuries.

Daniel and a 15-year-old boy were taken to hospital in life-threatening condition, police said. On Wednesday evening, police said in an update that Daniel had died.

In an interview with Global News, Nadia Zeno describes her son as someone who was “so special.”

16-year-old Daniel Zeno, identified as victim of fatal Vaughan crash.

“He was just someone that everybody loved,” said Nadia. “He got along with everyone, he was a beautiful role model to his brothers…I don’t have the words right now.”

On the night of the crash, her son and his friends had plans to hang out at the local Tim Hortons, to “sit there and talk” and then “drive around” Nadia said. His last words to her as he headed out that evening were “I’ll be back.”

“He just went out,” said Nadia. “Mom, I’m going out around nine and I’ll be back…he always comes through that door when he’s supposed to. And at 12 o’clock, he wasn’t coming. And I text him, ‘Where are you? I’m getting worried’ — six, seven texts after that, there was no answer. And I knew that night something was wrong.”

She said Daniel’s two younger brothers, aged 13 and 10, are heartbroken.

“They meant so much to him and he meant so much to them,” said Nadia. “It’s devastating not to have him here. It’s terrible to see him in those conditions where a mother should be able to help her son, and I couldn’t do anything for him.”

Investigators are asking anyone with information or who may have dash cam footage of the collision to contact York Regional Police’s Major Collision Unit.

–With files from Jessica Patton

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