Toronto cyclist hit by car; may be charged for not dismounting at crosswalk

photo by Joseph Jacobson


OCTOBER 23, 2009

A collision in Scarborough Wednesday involving a car and a bicycle has sent one teenage boy to hospital and left a motorist visibly shaken by the ordeal.

Police say the accident happened when the driver of the car going westbound on Ellesmere Road attempted to make a right turn on to Mornelle Court.  As the car was turning it struck a bicycle going eastbound down Ellesmere, sending the teenage cyclist tumbling onto the grass by the curb.  A witness at the bus stop helped the boy up and called 9-1-1.  Paramedics arrived on the scene and determined that the cyclist required medical attention.  EMS then loaded the boy into an ambulance, taking him up the street to Rouge Valley Centenary Hospital where he was checked into the fracture clinic and treated for a broken foot.  He was released shortly afterwards.

“Everyone has a right to be on the roadway … however we have to obey all laws and rules of the road. “ said Toronto police Const. Amarjit Singh  at the scene of the accident. “The motor vehicle has to yield to pedestrians ….however, cyclists also have an obligation towards the Highway Traffic Act, …that they … have to dismount if they are crossing from one side of the sidewalk to the other. “

(Listen to the interview with Const. Singh here.)

The driver of the car seemed very uncomfortable with the situation, pacing back and forth with his arms folded across his chest.  He refused to speak with the media.  However, he did tell police that he was following a bus in his car, and as he turned onto Mornelle he could not see the cyclist crossing the road.

On the other hand, the boy, who police officers described as being “between 14 and 16,” was willing to tell his side of the story to the media.  The cyclist, who can not be named because of the Youth Criminal Justice Act,  explained via Facebook that as he was riding down Ellesmere, a car was blocking the crosswalk on Mornelle.  When he reached Mornelle,  he said he then drove around the back of the car in order to cross the street.

“Then a green and orange car was turning right into [Mornelle] and hit me off my bike onto the grass,” the boy said.  “I don’t know how he didn’t see me because I was half way across the street.”

It was while in hospital, the teenager discovered he was not only a victim, but a potential law breaker.

“The ambulance took me to the hospital where I found out I had a fractured foot ,then the police took my statement,” the boy said.  “Since I’m underage they gave my mother a summons to go to court in December.  The police said since I didn’t come to a complete stop and cross the street I might get fined.”

Although the teenage boy broke his foot in the accident, his funny bone remained intact.

“I’m OK but my mom said I’m going to feel more pain tomorrow.”