Another cyclist killed

The Toronto Star is reporting that a cyclist was hit and killed by a left-turning SUV, at the corner of Trethewey Dr. and Tedder St. (map).

The westbound cyclist was hit at the intersection of Trethewey Dr. and Tedder St. at about 8 a.m. by a 4Runner making a left turn, said Toronto police Sgt. Tim Burrows.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man driving the 4 Runner remained at the scene and is fully co-operating with police, Burrows said, adding that no decision had been made on whether charges would be laid.

We will update you with more details as they come in. Media links:

Comments

Brutal. It's easy to blame motorists. But if there was better infrastructure drivers and cyclists wouldn't be put in these dangerous situations. An unfortunate situation. My condolences to the family of the victim.

I am saddened that a cyclist died this morning. My heart goes out to his family. I am glad the SUV driver stayed and is cooperative to the police. Hit and run is a criminal offence and the driver would be fined more than will eventually happen for killing the cyclist. My heart does goes out to the driver. S/He is probably in shock and will have nightmares about this. No way did the driver go out this morning and plan on making a left turn that killed someone.

I am also saddened that Sgt. Tim Burrows has been assigned as the public voice of this incident. He is the same person assigned for the cyclist killed on Eglinton Ave. Many felt that case was poorly handled. Assigning the same officer to this case is a public vote of confidence for Sgt. Burrows, but clearly shows the police attitude towards cyclists.

I hope that charges are laid. I realize it will be the $110 fine for opening a car door improperly or making an improper left turn, but it allows the family to sue in civil court and get some compensation. It is poor solace for the family, but especially if he had minors at home it will help ease the burden.

With a heavy heart, I added the person to the memorial map for fallen cyclists ...
http://tinyurl.com/6l94n2

I imagine ARC - http://respect.to - will organize a memorial ride in the evening next week for all to come along and lay flowers ...

Note: I will not be involved in organizing any more memorial rides.

No doubt the driver, without really looking, just tapped the gas peddle - and the SUV's 150 to 200 horsepower just kicked in. Why do people going to work need so many horses? I'm OK with just one, me.

So much horsepower, so little protection.

My condolences.

A damned shame, no matter how it happened. Let me make a few general comments about cyclist deaths and injuries.

First, I can't agree with: "if there was better infrastructure drivers and cyclists wouldn't be put in these dangerous situations". What am I supposed to do for the couple of decades that takes? How about for the child I hope to have in that duration? We sorely need that infrastructure, but in the long interim there's something called 'policing' that would make us all much safer: drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. The sense of responsibility in traffic in this city is parlous.

Second, isn't Tretheway a suggested route on the city bike map? I tried it once, and once only. It's the only choice in that area, but a poor one. That's the city's fault.

Third, enough in the media about whether the deceased wore a helmet! Yes, it's safer. I am a wearer. However, it's not the law for adults, and though it reduces head injuries (thus, deaths), it does not reduce others. Guess what would reduce deaths and injuries far more: safer streets and drivers! Get someone to report on cyclist deaths who... CYCLES!

More education, more policing, yes.

However, it's generally best to always assume absolutely no one can see you, and always assume that EVERYONE is going to do something totally bonkers.

Riding under those kinds of rules changes close misses into mere road rage as you watch people do ridiculous things in front of you. It shouldn't have to be this way, but survival is key above justified outrage.

Of course, I'm not trying to apply this to the accident. Things DO happen. And even with my little 'rule', it still doesn't protect me 100 percent and certainly doesn't protect me when a driver does something not within my visual range. It's helpful though. I'd rather be swearing under my breath at everyone than feeling like my heart is going to burst out of my chest during a close shave (or worse).

Quote from Sgt. Burrows: “It does appear that the cyclist did have the right of way”

If a rogue cyclist runs red lights and got hit by a car, I don't feel bad.
But when a law-abiding cyclist who had the right of way gets hit by a car, it's just so sad.

And this sort of "accident" is fully preventable.

Why can't those drivers drive defensively?

"If a rogue cyclist runs red lights and got hit by a car, I don't feel bad." Well $%#* you 'wy29'. You've never made a mistake on the road? So you too deserved to die? What's wrong with you?

Equal stupidity, the Star article that has to make a point about helmets also calls it an "accident". Oh, whoopsie, I killed someone? No, it's a 'collision'.

This one hit home. I've ridden Trethewey and Tedder about 60 times this year. I rode it westbound a little over an hour before the unfortunate cyclist was struck.

Trethewey, but no means ideal, is the lesser evil of its counterparts Eglinton and Lawrence. If one must cross Black Creek Dr. -- who are they kidding, Black Creek isn't a "Drive", it's a textbook definition of a highway -- Trethewey with a wide curb lane and lighter traffic load is preferable to the other two options.

We have a westbound cyclist proceeding through, and an eastbound motorist turning left across his path (there's is no stoplight at this intersection), and The York Guardian quotes Sgt. Tim Burrows observing “It does appear that the cyclist did have the right of way". F_cking right the cyclist had the right of way.

About the victim: he was middle-aged, and from what I can make out from the photo in the Guardian, his bike is outfitted with SPDs and panniers. Riding at that time of day, and so equipped, suggests he was an experienced commuter (novices rarely use clipless pedals).

And I suppose the unctuous will be gratified that the corpse was equipped with a helmet, a responsible, safety conscious carcass.

Burrows assures that the driver will definitely be charged: "They (road users) have to really be alert and aware of everything that’s going on at all times to try to prevent tragedies like this.” That charges are definitely pending implies that a more precise term for the incident is "crime" instead of "tragedy".

But this is all academic. There's nothing left but tears of anger and grief. Another meaningless end.

In yesterday's Star, the police is quoted as

Burrows said the driver would definitely be charged. “It was a completely preventable collision," he said.

http://www.thestar.com/article/496560
IT thus will go before a judge, and the penalty should be the same as if another car had been hit, with fatal consequences. I wonder whether we'll ever hear about the court case again.... It usually takes a long time before a trial takes place. Who will remember then...?

He was my friend, his son is my son's best friend. His wife and 3 children have lost a wonderful husband and father.
Yes he was an experienced cyclist, he had been riding to work for many years and knew the route well. He was always careful and aware on the road.
He cared about environmental issues and tried to do something about it by cycling to work. Why did he have to die for doing the right thing?

Very sorry to hear about your friend Gunner. Sadly, his story mimics exactly that of another cyclist killed last year on Bayview.

I wish there was answer to your question.

Words are such meagre offerings at these times, but they're all one has to give. I'm sorry for your loss and that of the victim's family. Peace be to them.

I also knew the victim quite well. He loved to cycle and his energy and enthusiasm inspired those around him. I am an avid cyclist because of him and it makes me sad to think that he has become yet another cycling fatality statistic. Bike safely everyone!

My condolescences to family and friends of the victim. My heart sank when I first saw the story and it sank even further when I read gunner's post.

this brings tears, and anger, and sadness for the family.

He cared about environmental issues and tried to do something about it by cycling to work. Why did he have to die for doing the right thing?

and folks, please observe that Martin Reis is saying he can't do these memorials any more. They are rather harsh and draining to put into gear, and may often come at inconvenient times and places. Please also give thanks to Martin and for the other ARCtivistes that have managed to keep this sad ritual in place.

doesn't provide us with a guarantee of safety. In fact, we often find the right thing harder and more dangerous than the wrong thing. As Bruce Cockburn writes, "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight; gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight". If we want to make our lives about something, we have to accept the possibility the struggle will make an end of us.

And I know all of that offers precious little comfort to the families and friends who have to deal with a terrible loss. I have them and all my cycling friends, and indeed all Toronto cyclists in my thoughts and prayers tonight.

John G. Spragge
Mariner, cyclist, pilot

John G. Spragge
Mariner, cyclist, pilot

The work Martin help start will continue. ARC will post the cyclist memorial details over the weekend. www.respect.to

I am a co-worker and cycling mate of sorts. I took mostly the same route through town since he lived close to me and we worked at the same place. He had been doing it for years, but I only joined the company last year. He showed me the route that he took, including all the tricks he used to stay off the busy roads wherever he could. His route was carefully planned out, and he felt that Threthewey was the least threat.

I am sorry to say that I will not bike to work anymore or anywhere on Toronto that cars can go.

I do not know the cyclist who was killed. But from the comments posted, he sounds a lot like me. And since its human nature to project ourselves onto, or perhaps its see ourselves mirrored in others, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that he cycled because he loved to cycle, just like me.

Which got me thinking. Not that I have a death wish or anything, but I am realistic that I may die when I'm out riding my bicycle - if it were my turn next, how would I want my friends and the larger cycling community to react?

If it were me, hold a memorial if you like. But please make it a celebration. We all have to die some day. And dying as a result of doing something that I love to do, well, I would consider that a fitting way to go.

To the family and friends of the cyclist killed - my condolences. Your loss is heartbreaking.

To the cyclist killed - I will raise a pint to salute you later on today.

veronica

'GunShy' is right to make his choice: "I will not bike to work anymore or anywhere [in] Toronto that cars can go." I don't make that choice, but to find it too dangerous to bicycle is sensible based on the observable facts on our streets.

I am a very defensive cyclist, and presume everyone in every mode of transport I come across is inattentive, idiotic, crazed, or some combination. It's cynical, but I am still alive. I believe that's not coincidental. However, the real reason I continue to ride is that some demented part of me likes risk that I feel I can manage: I rock climb, solo kayak, ski too fast, and worst... cycle on Toronto's lawless roads. Even so, I choose my routes, and there are a lot I will not use. In the end, I may have the poor luck the deceased had on Tretheway.

My wife grew up in Japan, where drivers (who are often also cyclists) give you the respect you need. I have plainly discouraged her from using the bike I bought her in Toronto, unless I am with her, because she has a too positive view of our species, even in cars; it would get her killed.

The Arcade Fire has a lovely song entitled: "Where No Car Go"....

R.I.P.

Steve, another committeed cyclist, and someone else perhaps as well, has brought up that this segment of Trethewy has been slated for a bike lane but it hasn't happened, yet, for a set of reasons (or excuses) perhaps. Details are sorta here lower down as a start.
http://biketoronto.ca/vote2006/show/can/63.htm
I believe I've heard that any action against the City alleging neglect etc. has to be filed really quickly while the family is still reeling and making funeral arrangements. Rakinasto@toronto.ca may be the email last name is Akinasto - I wonder if Mayor_Miller@toronto.ca would do as he's a lawyer....
The gentleman was also from the area of town where I live in the Danforth - wow!!
How can we be best conveying our sorrow and support to his family?

ARC will be doing a memorial ride on Wednesday leaving at 6:30PM from Bloor & Spadina.
(Just passing on the info)

I knew him well years ago. I helped him pick out his first "real" bike. It's so hard when it's a man much like yourself, with kids and a wife, riding your bike to work because it's a part of how you define yourself and part of who you are.

No matter what happens to the driver it will be an injustice to the family and to the cycling community. You can't replace a father and a husband.

I really find myself identifying with this slain cyclist. I lived in the area he was killed for several years. I too cycle to work every day, come home every night to my wife and children...

The fact that this cyclist was experienced, mapped out routes that were 'safe' and was killed by a left turning vehicle when he had clear right of way is very disturbing to me. I'm sometimes under the illusion that experience, skill, and route selection can keep me from harm. I don't want to imagine my own family left with the legacy of a dead father/husband/son/brother.

That said, I would want my family to know that I love the feel of the road under my wheels. I love feeling my lungs filled with air and my legs warm with blood. It makes me feel alive...and I'm going to assume that this man felt very much the same. And dying in the pursuit of something you love and are passionate about is, in the end, the best we can hope for in this life.

pennyfarthing ok frye