'He was the life of the party': Friends, family remember man who died in Hwy. 401 collision
Friends and family of Paolo ‘Paul’ Brizzi are mourning the death of the 39-year-old electrician, killed in a collision involving an alleged impaired driver on Hwy. 401 Saturday afternoon.
“My brother will never walk through the door,” said Brizzi’s sister, Carla Mawyin, through tears. “I will never see his face, I will never hear his voice.”
She and other family members were at the Glendale Funeral Home Monday afternoon to finalize the details of Brizzi’s burial and funeral service.
Mawyin her older brother said that they were planning a surprise party for her little brother’s 40th birthday in October, but now they’re planning his funeral instead.
“I still cant believe it, I’m still in a state of shock,” said Mawyin. “I’m there holding my parents together because they’re absolutely devastated.”
She said she wants to world to remember Paul as a selfless and loving person.
“He was just an amazing man … and I couldn’t have asked for a better baby brother.”
Mawyin adds that her Brizzi was a private person, but was loved by everyone in their “big Italian family.”
WATCH: The scene of the fatal crash Saturday
“He was the life of the party,” she said, smiling. “You know, like Norm on ‘Cheers’. That was Paul.”
“He would just show up for everybody and be there for everybody.”
Mawyin adds that Brizzi was on his way to meet up some friends for chicken wings when the collision took place in the westbound collector lanes on Highway 401 near Keele Street shortly after 4:30 pm.
Ontario Provincial Police said officers believe another vehicle appeared to sideswipe the victim’s vehicle, causing it to crash into a concrete barrier.
Update: Driver killed in collision on #Hwy401/Keele St identified as:
Paolo BRIZZI, 39 years of age, from Woodbridge On.
Rakunath KANAGARATNAM, 55 years of age is currently in custody and charged with:
Impaired Operation Causing Death
Refusal to comply with breath demand pic.twitter.com/P6Xv1F5ZAR
— Sgt Kerry Schmidt (@OPP_HSD) August 18, 2019
Fifty-five-year-old Rakunath Kanagaratnam, of Toronto, has been charged with impaired driving causing death.
The family said Brizzi’s death, at the hands of an alleged impaired driver, is shockingly ironic for them because Brizzi never drank alcohol.
Mawyin is now demanding increased drinking and driving checks and stiffer penalties for those who are caught behind the wheel while above the legal drinking limit.
“My parents are devastated,” she said.
“I cant even begin to tell you what this has done to us.”