Brampton, Ontario — November 5, 2015 — A Brampton firefighter is apologizing for critical remarks made on Facebook following the death of a Mississauga tow operator struck by a GO train.
The Toronto Sun reports Darren LaCroix, a fire captain with Brampton Fire and Emergency Services, has since deleted an October 30 post slamming the actions of the victim of the fatal crash—54-year-old Randy Muzzi—and calling tow truck drivers “idiots.” He took to the social media site Monday to offer a public apology.
“My comment was made in haste and I see now that I did not have all the facts regarding this tragic accident,” LaCroix wrote on November 2. “I’m extremely disappointed in myself for using such poor judgment and I would like pass on my deepest sympathy to the Muzzi family and all his friends and associates.”
The Atlantic Towing operator was pronounced dead at the scene on October 30 when a GO train collided with his truck, dragging it 500 metres. He had been responding to a multi-vehicle collision at a rail crossing on Ninth Line north of Derry Road and had inadvertently backed his truck onto the tracks to make room for firefighters when the collision took place.
Shortly after the incident, LaCroix shared a link to a CTV News story, Driver dies after Milton GO train crashes into tow truck, along with the comment: “Are all GTA tow truck drivers f****** idiots?” and, “…ya buddy at least you only hurt yourself this time and inconvenienced everybody else.”
TLK Towing’s Todd Keely, Muzzi’s former employer and friend, told the Sun the comments in the initial Facebook post were upsetting and wrong, especially coming from a fellow emergency worker.
“We’re not just there to tow cars, we’re also first responders,” Keely said in the report. “We see what they see, the carnage and the death. We live with the same nightmares and many of us have saved lives.”
Brampton Fire Chief Michael Clark told CP24 that he and his staff were “as shocked and surprised” by LaCroix’s post as anybody else, and that the opinions expressed are not reflective of the views of Brampton Fire and Emergency Services.
“I don’t know what his personal issue is with tow truck operators but speaking for myself and his colleagues, we see the tow trucks operators as our partners and we have a good working relationship with them,” Clark said in his statement.
In his November 2 apology, LaCroix also directed his regret to his coworkers.
“It was not my intention to dishonor (sic) the fire service,” he wrote. “I realize how hurtful my comments were and I offer my sincerest apology to all who were offended by my harsh words.”