Blue Line

Loved ones speak out as London police probe collision that killed pedestrian

January 26, 2023  By Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Jan. 26, 2023, London, Ont. – A pedestrian killed following a collision near London’s east edge was a loving and hardworking man who was willing to help anyone despite facing his own battles, loved ones say.

Shawn George, 54, died in hospital Monday night, hours after he was struck by a vehicle near Hamilton Road and Watmar Avenue while walking to a friend’s house, his partner, Jessica Orvis, said.

“He was my best friend and rock. We’ve been through everything together (during) the last seven years,” Orvis told The Free Press in an online exchange.

George leaves behind two of their children, three step-children, and five grown-up kids, Orvis said.


“Shawn was a provider” who was always concerned for her and other people, she said. “He also took a teenage boy under his wing.”

George died from his injuries in hospital after emergency crews were called around 6:30 p.m. Monday to a collision in the area of Hamilton Road near Watmar Avenue, London police said. Police said the driver remained at the scene.

The London police traffic management unit was still investigating the collision as of Wednesday.

Some family members declined comment, asking for privacy as they grieve.

George had lived on the streets for some time and battled some health issues but he “always had a smile on his face,” said his stepdaughter, Montana Orvis-Torek. “He would do anything to see someone smile. Even if it was the last $20 in his pocket, and me and (my) brother wanted something, he’d give it to us.”

Many people knew George as Homer. But to Orvis’s children, his nickname was “shopping cart guy.”

They “always knew he was coming by the sound of (his) shopping cart on the sidewalk,” Orvis said.

She added: “He was a very hardworking man . . . He had a big heart (and) he’d help anybody if he could.”

George is the second pedestrian struck and killed by a vehicle in London this month. Kevin Mourant, 56, died on Jan. 7 in a collision near the intersection of Oxford and Colborne streets. Earlier this week, police announced Dylan Van Den Kerkhof Smith, a 21-year-old from London, is charged with careless driving causing death and driving without a licence in connection with Mourant’s death.

In the wake of George’s death, Orvis-Torek and her mom are urging motorists to be vigilant on the roads.

“I can’t stress enough for drivers to pay attention on the road, or we could lose another kind soul like his,” Orvis-Torek said.

Added Orvis: “Drivers need to pay attention to how they drive on the street. Dark clothes or not, it could be a little child next time.”

The pair has planned a memorial to light candles in honour of George outside the Bob Hayward YMCA on Hamilton Road at 4 p.m. on Thursday.

– London Free Press

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