I used to bike every kilometre of this city. Toronto's streets were my bike paths and I'd tackle them daily until there was snow on the ground and then start up again after the first thaw. When I biked to get myself from A to Z, it was the bike couriers who were my comrades. They were so fast, so deft with a bike, so cool.
Darcy Allan Sheppard was a bike courier who had an unfortunate altercation with Ontario's former attorney-general Michael Bryant last night. On Bloor Street, just east of Avenue Road, something happened between the car-driving Bryant and bike-riding Sheppard that caused Sheppard to slam his backpack onto the car's hood. What happened next was completely unnecessary, totally excessive and so very tragic.
The car apparently swerved to the oncoming lane of traffic along Bloor, very close to the sidewalk that the cyclist hung over. “He started going [driving] onto the sidewalk,” said Manuel Machado, a construction worker standing on the street as it unfolded.
“I heard the tires screech,” said Ryan Brazeau, another worker. “He [the cyclist] was right literally at the front windshield, almost holding on to the driver.”
The driver was now going west in the eastbound curb lane, leaving the cyclist clinging to the curbside door of the car. The cyclist, clinging to the car as it sped away, then struck trees and a grey mailbox like a “human battering ram,” Mr. Brazeau said.
“You could hear hitting, something, bam, bam, bam,” a third worker said.
The cyclist fell off the car when he struck the mailbox, and collapsed in a heap of blood on the sidewalk in front of Sephora. The driver kept going, hanging a right at Avenue Road.
Darcy Allan Sheppard succumbed to his injuries. Michael Bryant, who left politics earlier this year to take control of Invest Toronto, meant to attract business investment to the Toronto area, has been charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death.
Sheppard never had a chance. When it's car vs. pedestrian, with a driver hell-bent on punishing the pedestrian like a "human battering ram", the result will typically manifest itself in "a heap of blood".
Darcy Allan Sheppard was only 33. RIP.
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