Monday, July 23, 2012


Roma mourn boy killed in QEW hit-and-run



PHOTO: The body of Laszlo Balogh, 11, lies in the Hamilton General Hospital morgue, until his family can raise enough money to fly him back to Hungary to be buried. He died in a hit-and-run collision near Beamsville, Ont. last Tuesday

PHOTO BY Pawel Dwulit/Toronto Star
TORONTO A mother’s sobs echoed through a Toronto church Sunday as a community gathered to mourn 11-year-old Laszlo Balogh, killed last week in a horrific hit-and-run crash on the Queen Elizabeth Way in Beamsville.

Her grief is only worsened by not being able to lay her son to rest.
The family is struggling with the decision of where to bury Laszlo, as they await results of their asylum claim.

“They don’t want to be sent back to Hungary and have the body of their son buried here,” said Gina Csanyi-Robah, director of the Roma Community Centre and organizer of the memorial.

The family has been living in Toronto for a year and a half. Their first asylum hearing was delayed, and relatives have already been rejected. The process could take up to three years, said Csanyi-Robah.

In the meantime, Laszlo’s body remains in the Hamilton General Hospital morgue, until the family can raise enough money to fly him back to Hungary to be buried.

“Like many Roma people, they have lost hope,” said Csanyi-Robah. “If only they wouldn’t give up on Canada, then maybe this little boy could be laid to rest.”

Last week’s tragic crash has sent shock waves through the small Roma community in Parkdale.
Nine people, including six members of Laszlo’s extended family, were returning from a trip to Niagara Falls at around 3 a.m. Tuesday.

The minivan was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer and rolled over, killing Laszlo and sending seven others, including a seven-year-old girl and an infant, to hospital.

Sandor Katlan, a 23-year-old father of two, remains in a coma at Hamilton General Hospital, his wife said at the memorial.

The tractor-trailer did not stop and was found two days later at a Brampton repair shop. Police say they know who the driver is, but he has yet to be found.


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