Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another cyclist tragedy

Late last night, a cyclist died on a Toronto city street after an alleged "altercation" with an automobile driver, former Ontario attorney-general Michael Bryant.

Witness reports aired via the media today allege that the car driver and cyclist had some kind of confrontation on a street, which escalated into a road rage incident, and the cyclist, 33-year-old bike courier named Darcy Allan Sheppard, is now dead.

Hopefully, the facts disclosed in court will be shared openly and transparently with the public throughout the proceedings.

The facts are not totally in yet, and as usual, people are jumping to conclusions about what took place. All we know for sure is that someone is dead and someone has been charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death. The accused is scheduled to appear in court at Old City Hall, on Monday, Oct. 19, room 111, at 3 p.m.


This latest tragedy is a disturbing trend this summer in which cyclists have been injured, deliberately chased by vehicle drivers and run down, and assaulted. Situations get quickly out of hand when tempers flare. There are always two sides to every story, of course. Unfortunately, Darcy will never be able to tell his side of the story.

On my way home this afternoon, I had a heart-stopping experience with a cyclist. I stopped at an intersection (4-way stop signs). I had accelerated half-way through the intersection, and this guy on a bike came blasting through a stop sign on my right, he didn't even slow down, with a 24 case of beer atop his handlebars. He had the nerve to give me the finger! Some people disregard their own safety, let alone anyone else's. I guess racing home to drink his beer was much more important. It could have cost him his life, but he didn't care. Each of us needs to take responsibility for our actions, whether we accidentally or deliberately do something.

Be careful, everybody, and please be extra vigilant when you're out riding on streets and recreation trails. Your life can change in an instant.