The #1 Bicycle Mechanic Website in the World!

OFFICIAL SPONSORS

Gears Bike Shop
109 Vanderhoof Avenue, Toronto, ON
Phone: 647-729-2500
Hours: Mon-Fri 10-8, Sat 10-6, Sun 11-5
Gears Bike Shop is always hiring mechanics. Contact kevin@gearsbikeshop.com

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Attorney General kills Toronto cyclist

Michael Bryant in the back of a police cruiser.CANADA - Former Ontario attorney general Michael Bryant killed a 34-year-old Toronto cyclist last night with his car and has been charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death.

The victim was bicycle courier Darcy Allan Sheppard, a father of three. Sheppard was heading home to the Dupont and Dufferin area of Toronto.

Bryant, 43, is scheduled to appear in Old City Hall court on Oct. 19 2009.

Witnesses on Bloor Street last night described a heated argument between the driver of a black Saab convertible and a cyclist that began near Bloor and Bay Streets. (Blog author's note, that's right near my gym... and I was there last night working out!)

According to witnesses the argument erupted following a collision between Michael Bryant's black Saab convertible and the cyclist Sheppard at 9:45 PM on Bloor, just west of St. Thomas Street. The cyclist reportedly hung onto the side of the car (possibly because his shirt got caught on something) and Bryant drove off dragging him over 100 meters down the street, driving onto the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic and brushing against trees and poles in an attempt to knock the cyclist off his car.

Darcy Allan Sheppard with his bicycleBryant then ran over Sheppard's head with the rear tires of his Saab and drove off. He was later arrested.

Police also questioned an unidentified female passenger who was in the convertible. Police say alcohol was not involved.

"Lots of people were watching and they couldn't believe what was happening," said construction worker Ryan Brazeau, who was laying sewer pipes on Bloor.

"The guy hanging onto the car, hit the mailbox, hit the road, (then) . . . the car ran over him with the back tires," another witness said. "The guy bounced and the car sped off . . . the person was there just bleeding." Sheppard was bleeding from his head and mouth.

Sheppard was taken to St. Michael's Hospital with serious head injuries and died around midnight.

A large portion of the incident was captured on surveillance video and that investigators are working to fill in the gaps. (This is practically guaranteed to end up on YouTube.)

Mourners leaving flowers and letters for Darcy Allan Sheppard near where he was killed.Bike couriers in Toronto are planning a special memorial service.

Sheppard also a guitarist and an amateur stand-up comedian who sometimes performed at open mike nights at local clubs.

Bryant was first elected MPP for St. Paul's in 1999 and won re-election in 2003 and 2007. He was awarded Now Magazine's Best Toronto MPP for 2008.

Michael Bryant was Ontario's youngest-ever attorney general, and during his time in public service legalized paralegals, fixed election dates, banned pit bulls, overhauled the human rights system, re-created the Law Reform Commission, re-established civilian oversight of police and depoliticized Justice of the Peace appointments. He eventually stepped down from the position.

BLOG AUTHOR'S NOTE:

I ride along Bloor Street regularly to go to my gym which is near the Bay and Bloor corner. I think I know what happened in this incident... the problem is all the construction currently going on at Yonge and Bloor and all the potholes along Bloor street near the construction.

As a cyclist when you cycle through there is no bike lanes on Bloor street, and because of the construction at Yonge/Bloor there is only one lane on each side of the street. So I submit to you here is my theory of what happened:

Both Michael Bryant and Darcy Sheppard went through the Yonge/Bloor intersection, and the cyclist was likely in the way of the car because there's only one lane.

Furthermore after getting past the construction its not safe to drive on the far right because of the potholes. Thus its safer to stay in a lane where the road surface is more even. Sheppard did what any cyclist would do, he avoided the potholes.

This however only pissed over the driver behind him, who in this case was Michael Bryant riding with his female friend and possibly feeling cocky. Had he not been a convertible this could have been prevented, but because he was in a convertible he decided to shout at the cyclist and an argument ensued near St. Thomas Street.

Bryant then drove along beside the cyclist, the argument became heated and somehow the cyclist either grabbed hold of his car (or got caught on it). Bryant then decided instead of slowing down he would speed up, drive onto the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic in an attempt to knock the cyclist off.

Sheppard held on for dear life and was eventually ran over by the rear tires or Bryant's black Saab convertible.

Conclusions? Construction, convertibles, cockiness and being in the wrong place at the wrong time led to a cyclist's untimely death. The fact Bloor Street still doesn't have a bicycle lane is also a problem, despite numerous petitions for the city of Toronto to solve the problem.

It doesn't excuse Michael Bryant's reckless driving or his role in Sheppard's death, but it could have been prevented had common sense prevailed.

2 comments:

  1. that is brutal

    it pains me to read that story

    Darcy Sheppard is more than likely no different than you or me or that person over there

    on another day he may have just laughed it off

    the action... the reaction... the escalation
    all ending in a tragedy

    my heart goes out to all the lives that were lost by this tragedy
    friends... family... and children
    a life and many relationships cut short

    all very sad

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like your theory - unfortunately Mr. Bryant and his dream team will do their best to dispel it - and guess whose theory will prevail in the end ?

    Hey, it worked for O.J.

    ReplyDelete

NOTE

Spam comments will not be approved. If you want to advertise your product or service (or want to sponsor this blog) please contact charlesmoffat@charlesmoffat.com.

Recent Posts

Popular Posts

Looking for a bicycle mechanic school in Canada? The Quadra Island Bike School in British Columbia is a Canadian bicycle mechanic school that trains professional bicycle mechanics against the backdrop of the beautiful Quadra Island.