Ex-Ontario AG Bryant held after cyclist killed

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Unionist

martin dufresne wrote:

We're not "quick to draw conclusions based on who was involved",

I call post #2 "quick to draw conclusions" - based on one single article, and most of the post dealing with politics and environment and elections - and it went downhill from there.

Quote:
Interesting that Unionist labels a "potentially dangerous aspect of our human nature" the urge to judge apparent killers, rather than the much better-ingrained and protected urge to blow away inconvenient folks. 

I'm talking about us, martin. None of us here on babble has an urge to kill cyclists. Several of us, however, have an urge to prejudge based on who was involved. I'm suggesting that's dangerous.

Quote:
As for Bryant calling 911, there is a good chance he did that immediately AFTER the "incident."

I have no clue. I was just gently urging sanizadeh to look at all the available material before jumping to conclusions. For all I know, Bryant may have deliberately murdered this person for kicks. I'll wait and see what transpires.

 

janfromthebruce

Globe article:

Several people, including Mr. Bryant and someone "closely related" to him, called 911, police said.

 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
How hard was it for him to just close the top?

 

While moving, very. The top would effectively become a sail, pointing the wrong way, and in all likelihood would be ripped off of the car.

Debater

Michael Bryant has always been an arrogant prat - while this is a shocking incident, it will not totally surprise me if he has gotten himself into serious trouble.  He has always had a sense of entitlement - expecting Dalton McGunity to give him one major cabinet position after another and then throwing a hissy fit and quitting when he didn't get what he wanted.

martin dufresne

To janfromthebruce, you may want to edit post #3. Andrew Brett points out in his Rabble column "...a joke by Wiki vandals at the former Minister's expense. Shared Highways In Toronto doesn't exist, but it would have a great acronym if it did."

 

SCB4

Seems very fluid at the moment. The latest Star headline notes that 'charges are pending' against Bryant yet the accompanying text quotes a police spokesperson who speculates that Bryant may walk away without any charges being laid.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/689220

Snert Snert's picture

Whether he's charged with something like vehicular manslaughter could depend on the altercation between him and the cyclist, but you'd think that failure to remain would count regardless, and maybe a few other lesser HTA charges as well. 

kropotkin1951

This is from the link above. If it is true then he needs to be charged with manslaughter at least. 

 

"Witnesses said the westbound vehicle was driving on the wrong side of the road and up onto the curb trying to knock the cyclist off for about 100 metres.

Witnesses said the cyclist hung onto the driver's side of the car, which had its convertible top down, while the driver allegedly yelled at him to get off.

The vehicle veered into the eastbound lanes and mounted the curb, brushing against trees and poles. The victim was apparently run over by the rear wheels of the vehicle, witnesses said.

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

 

Even bike couriers are humans.

farnival

Unionist wrote:
Not sure about that, sanizadeh. What I am 100% sure about, however, is that some people are very quick to draw conclusions based on who was involved, rather than waiting to find out what happened. It shows a potentially dangerous aspect of our human nature. I'm convinced you can summon up as many examples from history as I can.

unionist, i see the point you are trying to uphold, which is to get all the facts before drawing conclusions.  but from a cyclist's perspective, and alot of us here are cyclists, the literal weight of the car vs. bike interaction never favours the cyclist, so we get very emotional about accidents like this, which are entirely avoidable.

when i made the "drunk with power" reference, it was only tangentially related to bryant's former position as AG.  what i'm mainly referring to is motorists being drunk with power.   in nearly every case of a cycling fatality or serious injury, the car is at fault.  if you'd like stats i can dig them up.

i ride all year.  commuting and leisure.  my bike is my primary vehicle.  i've had everything but death happen to me, though i've been threatened with that too.  i'm also one of those nerds that stops at lights and stopsigns and signals when i turn.  other cyclists are just as dangerous as motor vehicle drivers with the way they blow lights, ride all over the joint including sidewalks and my current pet peeve...passing on the inside.  but when you as a motorist use your vehicle to intentionally inflict harm on a person, that should automatically be intent to murder, just based on the scale of vehicle to victim.  period.

i haven't heard of a single incident in toronto where a cyclist caused a vehicular death. i've heard of too many the other way 'round, so do forgive our bias. 

martin dufresne

Aaaah, so Unionist was right to just "wait and see what transpires"... Finest justice money can buy!

 

Sineed

farnival wrote:

i haven't heard of a single incident in toronto where a cyclist caused a vehicular death. i've heard of too many the other way 'round, so do forgive our bias. 

"Woman, 56, dies after being struck by bike on sidewalk" (August 7, 2009)

http://www.thestar.com/article/678179

I'm playing devil's advocate a bit, as I like to do.  However...I see lots of bad behaviour from operators of both bikes and cars and don't take either side, really.  

Maybe this whole notion of sharing the roadway just isn't working out in Toronto, and we need to have physically separate lanes for bikes, not just those "bike lanes" consisting of painted lines on the road that basically serve as taxi stands.

farnival

Sineed wrote:

farnival wrote:

i haven't heard of a single incident in toronto where a cyclist caused a vehicular death. i've heard of too many the other way 'round, so do forgive our bias. 

"Woman, 56, dies after being struck by bike on sidewalk" (August 7, 2009)

http://www.thestar.com/article/678179

I'm playing devil's advocate a bit, as I like to do.  However...I see lots of bad behaviour from operators of both bikes and cars and don't take either side, really.  

Maybe this whole notion of sharing the roadway just isn't working out in Toronto, and we need to have physically separate lanes for bikes, not just those "bike lanes" consisting of painted lines on the road that basically serve as taxi stands.

 

i thought about including that incident, which is a red herring to my point btw, to discount it.  as the article states, it was a 15 year old boy.  children's bicycles are allowed on the sidewalk, as are children, which i'm sure the 15 year old wouldn't like being called but it is the law.

the only reason people ride on sidewalks is because it is unsafe or impossible to ride on the road.  ask them when you see them.  also, every single bike rack in the city is on a sidewalk.  it's impossible NOT to ride on the sidewalk at some point, the way the infrastructure is designed.  and don't tell me to get off and walk my bike to them.  have you ever tried to get off your bike in traffic?  certain death.

my point above is that in a bicycle-vehicle accident, the bicycle loses every time.  road rage from any quarter only makes things worse and escalates the danger.  that said, when a motorist spits on me, i'm likely to spit back.  when i'm obeying the rules of the road and a motorist drives right into me and i'm forced to bang on the car to get their attention so i don't fall, then said motorist starts swearing at me, i will swear back.  and if said motorist then gets out of his/her car and physically threatens me, which happens on a semi monthly basis, i will use all of my 200lbs and whatever else i have on me to defend myself.

 

so fuck you motorists.  stay out of our way, be polite, and go fuck yourselves.  i've had it with all of you.

writer writer's picture
Sineed

Cycling in traffic is an extreme sport.  Occasionally I go down Queen West to do some shopping, but mostly I stick to parks and residential streets.

I maintain, however, that cyclists can be jerks too.  Obviously car drivers can do a lot more damage, but the whole "cars versus bikes" thing is just silly; lots of people do both.  For me the real villain, the true cause of these confrontations, is the infrastructure.

G. Muffin

farnival wrote:
and if said motorist then gets out of his/her car and physically threatens me, which happens on a semi monthly basis

Seriously? 

ocsi
G. Muffin

That's terrible, farnival.  Sometimes I can't believe how badly people behave.

Perhaps in another thread I'll post some of my crosswalk adventures as a pedestrian.

farnival

G. Pie wrote:

farnival wrote:
and if said motorist then gets out of his/her car and physically threatens me, which happens on a semi monthly basis

Seriously? 

 

yup. unfortunately. they don't always fully get out of their car, but the old "open the door to scare him" tactic is alive and well. it is amazing how quickly they back down and apologise when they realize i'm not a kid but a 200lb adult with a beard and moustache and a 7 pound U-lock in my hand ( i have a courier style belt holster for it, very handy).  in fact, just a few weeks agoi had a fellow at lakeshore and carlaw circle around the block twice to yell obsenities at me because he was honking at me and an elderly lady who was cautiously trying to turn onto lakeshore and i told him to relax. He stopped his car and was about to get out when i waved my u-lock in the air.  he drove away, round the block, and threatened to fight me...twice. and blocked traffic to do it.  i was happy to oblige of course at that point BECAUSE I'M SICK AND TIRED OF THE FUCKING HUBRIS AND ARROGANCE OF MOTOR VEHICLE DRIVERS THAT THINK THEY OWN THE ROAD AND ARE ENTITLED TO ANY KIND OF BEHAVIOUR NO MATTER HOW DANGEROUS. and as usual, he spit at me, swore some more, flipped me the bird and zoomed out into traffic recklessly.

motor vehicle road rage is a deadly thing. it can take a normally quiet, passive person and turn them into an anger monster, bent on destruction and revenge.  how many of you posting here have seen one of your nice friends or family members turn into an epithet spewing, wheel bashing freak the second they get behind the wheel, claiming everyone around them is in their way or wrong or a jackass that should learn to drive.  my guess is everyone.

can you tell i'm upset by this?  a cyclist lost his life. again.  on a roadway that cyclists have been demanding a lane on and the city repeatedly denies.  perhaps now that someone high profile has killed someone, this issue will get the attention it deserves.

 

Sineed

Bryant just made a public statement, saying he extended his deepest condolences to the family of Darcy Sheppard, and thanked the press for respecting his family's privacy.

Didn't hear an apology in there.

Farnival, I don't agree with everything you're saying, but I have to say, if I rode with you, I think I'd feel safer.

Quote:
perhaps now that someone high profile has killed someone, this issue will get the attention it deserves.

Yes...shame, though, how so often a tragedy is needed to get positive change.

writer writer's picture
NDPP

I agree the situation in Toronto is awful, snd dangerous, road rage incidents are common between drivers and bikers, and increasingly bikers have taken over the sidewalks and behave  just like drivers do. There MUST be designated  bikelanes installed and this case is the perfect high profile opportunity to press that false-front-on-a-vacant-lot- mayor David Miller to move decisively on this.

Stockholm

Bike lanes don't necessarily solve the problem. Its not as if drivers don't drive into them and its not as if bikers don't leave their lanes either. There are plenty of altercations between cars and bikes in places where there are bike lanes - and i have no idea whether the presence or absence of lanes on Bloor St. (which is a mess of road construction right now) would have been a factor here.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

None of which is an argument not to build as many bike lanes as there are roads, and immediately.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture
martin dufresne

Bike lanes are useless if cars that park in them are not swiftly ticketed and cars turn into them without signaling at intersections, open doors without looking, etc. Also, I have never heard of a cyclist hurting a motorist in an incident of road rage, so I don't think a tit-for-tat presentation of both groups is warranted.

Part of the problem with many car drivers is that they perceive the motorcar as a sealed, autonomous environment of unaccountability where drivers (male drivers, almost exclusively) consider themselves king of the castle and sometimes even besieged by non-motorists whose behaviour "doesn't figure" in their view. I am guessing that Bryant will be offering this type of perspective as a defense to deny any wrongful intention, e.g. "I was suddenly assaulted by a freaky looking non-motorist who invaded my space, hit my car, yelled threateningly at me; I just tried to get away in self-protection, lost my concentration causing me to swerve out of my lane, hence the unfortunate accident, I stopped in the nearest hotel parking lot, and just who is going to pay for that dent in the Saab?" 

One solution: closing downtown areas to motorized individual traffic and designing city streets for slow, mixed circulation at 30 km/h max.

 Another: testing would-be drivers for susceptibility to road rage.

 

writer writer's picture

Apparently, there is a memorial ride at 5pm tomorrow (Wednesday). Meeting at Bay & Bloor and riding to Avenue & Bloor. Lay down bikes + 5 minutes of silence.

Unionist

Catchfire wrote:
None of which is an argument not to build as many bike lanes as there are roads, and immediately.

Agreed!

martin dufresne wrote:
One solution: closing downtown areas to motorized individual traffic and designing city streets for slow, mixed circulation at 30 km/h max.

Yes!

Have you seen all those thin white lines around town, martin? We're way behind schedule for bike lane kilometrage (although I'll bet we're way ahead of the ROC), so I'm guessing Tremblay has given the order to catch up fast in time for the election. My main concerns, though are: 1) Cars turning left across bike lanes (e.g. de Maisonneuve); and 2) Night cyclists not wearing light-coloured clothes and/or inadequate lights. The best are the flashing red tail lights.

A few days I saw the Masse Critique hurtling through downtown (Friday I think), looking good and playing music. The day Montréal is motor-free, I'm throwing a big party!

 

farnival

Sineed wrote:

Bryant just made a public statement, saying he extended his deepest condolences to the family of Darcy Sheppard, and thanked the press for respecting his family's privacy.

Didn't hear an apology in there.

Farnival, I don't agree with everything you're saying, but I have to say, if I rode with you, I think I'd feel safer.

Quote:
perhaps now that someone high profile has killed someone, this issue will get the attention it deserves.

Yes...shame, though, how so often a tragedy is needed to get positive change.

 

well sineed, funny enough, i don't agree with everything i was saying.  i don't agree that it should be part of my day to be a target for road rage assholes in cars and trucks.  i don't agree that me reacting angrily is the best way to handle things either.  but the situation does unfortunately dictate the response.   what i usually do, when someone cuts me off or is driving dangerously near me, is wait til the next light, knock on their window and politely point out what just occured.  yes, this is somewhat passive-aggressive, but usually i get an apology, which is great.   hopefully next time that motorist will shoulder check, look in their mirror, get off their phone, stop eating or just pay attention next time.

for what it's worth, my experiences of the last 21 years of commuting to work year round (12 of that in winnipeg!) is i now conduct bike commuting workshops at my workplace.  one in the fall for cold weather/winter cycling, and one in the spring.   i cover the clothing and gear and style of bicycle that is appropriate and i also cover how to ride and what to do around cars.   I decided a while ago that instead of coming into work all in a lather about yet another near miss, i would try to educate my fellow riders at work so i don't read about them in the news.

your bicycle is a vehicle under the Highway Traffic Act.  act like it and you will be respected, and when you are not, at the very least, you won't be at fault.

r.i.p. Darcy Allan Sheppard.  i didn't know him, but he was a cycling brother.  may your wheels keep rollin'.

martin dufresne

Tino's Bike Lane Diary title makes the point that the cyclist "died trying to stop hit-and-run driver". I had a hunch this might be the case if there was an initial minor collision and Sheppard tried to stop Bryant from speeding away for whatever reasons, e.g. alcohol, lady in the car, fault, not wanting to pay for damage to the bike, etc.  

 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

martin dufresne wrote:
Part of the problem with many car drivers is that they perceive the motorcar as a sealed, autonomous environment of unaccountability where drivers (male drivers, almost exclusively) consider themselves king of the castle and sometimes even besieged by non-motorists whose behaviour "doesn't figure" in their view.

Actually, I find that the worst, most self-entitled drivers in Toronto are white, Canadian-born, and 40 to 55 years of age - of both sexes. The stereotype of bad drivers as male, young and/or ethnic seldom holds true - with the exception of cabbies.

kropotkin1951

What he said on the cellphone to 911 would likely be the reason they didn't charge him with leaving the scene

 

janfromthebruce

Remind, I don't think he was leaving the scene of the accident. He parked a few metres away and dialed 911. Thus he wasn't fleeing.

remind remind's picture

Quote:
Bryant has been charged with criminal negligence causing death after a 33-year-old cyclist was struck and killed last night.

He was also charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death.

From Ocsi's link

But not for leaving the scene of an accident?

And from the pics at writer's link I see that it was quite the freaking bunch of objects he  drove Mr Sheppard into and through, and it was not just a little mailbox either.

ETA: Those poor children of his, I feel deeply for them and their mom, going to be a harder life than what had to be.

farnival

leaving the scene of the accident would have been from the very moment he chose to step on the gas pedal of his car during the intitial "confrontation".  regardless of the behaviour of the other person involved.  period.

madmax

Michelle wrote:
I think it's also important to recognize that while it's possible that Michael Bryant just might have some sort of defence,
 

Hit and Run? Is it correct that the Hotel is right next to the Accident?

remind remind's picture

I agree farnival, the initial contact was the accident, and speeding away to park a few blocks away, leaving Mr Sheppard in a pool of blood,  in the hotel parking, is leaving the scene.

%$#@& should have viewed what he had done instead of avoiding it, and public scruntiny.

 

writer writer's picture

The initial scene happened before the cyclist grabbed onto the car. That is when Bryant began to flee. This is particularly true if he made a left in front of the bike, and the bike went into the car. The cyclist fell under the car some blocks away. The hotel is a short distance from that.

But I also agree with unionist - we don't have the full picture.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Just a somewhat aside to say that Richmond has almost a useable bikeline system and I find it works very well.  I am not an expert cyclist by any means and I find them very helpful.  As for cars parking in them, well I pity the car owner that tries to do that too often.  I think that speed is a big issue.  I think both cars and  some bikes could dial it back a bit.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Pogo wrote:

Just a somewhat aside to say that Richmond has almost a useable bikelane system and I find it works very well.  I am not an expert cyclist by any means and I find them very helpful.  As for cars parking in them, well I pity the car owner that tries to do that too often.  I think that speed is a big issue.  I think both cars and  some bikes could dial it back a bit.

remind remind's picture

What else added to the picture would you need?

What is a short distance?

writer writer's picture

remind, my point is that he parked in the hotel lot - a *long distance* from the original scene. The site of the original accident happened well before the cyclist was killed.

Was the cyclist trying to get him to remain at that scene? How did he lose his bike? Why was he holding onto the side of the car?

These details – what is possible to assertain – have yet to emerge in public. They are likely relevant to further charges.

martin dufresne

...or to abandonment of same, if Bryant's defence team is agressive enough. Dead men tell no tales.

 

writer writer's picture

Just heard that there was an action by bike couriers today. They blocked all lanes along Bloor @ Avenue Road.

This is not going to be swept away. Critical Mass has met a critical mass in the city of Toronto.

Ciabatta2

edited for double post

remind remind's picture

Yes, I agree it was a long way from the original scene from the sounds of it writer, but I wanted to know how far  exactly is the hotel actually from where this poor fellow ended up dead?

I agree martin, and some people already are seeming to find excuses for it.

Classism, never underestimate it.

ETA: happy to see someone is sticking up for him and speaking out

Ciabatta2

This is terrible. How violent is it to drive a cyclist into a pole and mailboxes? What kind of tendencies must this guy have? Jesus. Why didn't he just get out of the car! I don't get it at all. What an ass. I hope he gets the book thrown at him. Anyway, jut wanted to express my rage and comment on a few things below. My thoughts are with the cyclist's family.

martin dufresne wrote:

Also, I have never heard of a cyclist hurting a motorist in an incident of road rage

It happens, although much less frequently than cyclists getting hurt by motorists. Where it occurs, usually the car shields the driver from harm. Unfortunately cyclists don't have that protection. I've been the subject of road rage as both a cyclist and a motorist, and from both groups as well. Admitedly, I've made some mistakes as both a cyclist and a motorist, but I'm a safe on both counts and follow all road rules. Twice, as a motorist, it's been my car that has protected me, once from the cyclist aiming to hit me and another time from the bikelock thrown my way that cracked my rear windshield. (And both times it was where a cyclist failed to stop at four way residential street stop near my apartment and narrowly missed being hit (once it wasn't even my car that was the closest). So few motorists or cyclists follow the rules of the road anymore...it's terrible.) This is nowhere near as widespread as the incidents of motorist assault of cyclists, but I wanted to point out this misconception.

martin dufresne wrote:

Part of the problem with many car drivers is that they perceive the motorcar as a sealed, autonomous environment of unaccountability where drivers (male drivers, almost exclusively) consider themselves king of the castle and sometimes even besieged by non-motorists whose behaviour "doesn't figure" in their view.

While the majority of road rage assaults on cyclists are likely perpetrated by men I don't doubt, road rage applies very much to both sexes and the statement above, if applying to road rage generally, is inaccurate.

 

writer writer's picture

remind, if you scroll down the Star feature, you'll see a map. Click it to make it bigger. Gives you the chance to zoom in and out.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/689220

The hotel is around the corner. After hitting the cyclist, Bryant would have crossed four lanes of Bloor traffic, made a right at a light, then made a left into the hotel driveway. Approximately a block away, with a lot of fancy (and illegal) driving on busy roads done by somebody who had just run somebody else down.

Coyote

Unionist, thanks for your clear head in this matter. I don't think rushing to convict within 24 hours is how due process works. The first indications look very bad for Mr. Bryant; worse for the man it appears he killed. If Bryant is indeed guilty - and it sure does look that way at first blush - he should go to jail. But we don't know all the facts, yet. A police investigation is under way. I'm sure we'll hear a lot more about this for a good long time.

Slumberjack

Based on the findings already pronounced by some here, they'd be hard pressed to select an eligible jury of peers from this limited pool.

jrootham

The only reason I can see for not laying a leaving the scene charge is that the criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death are serious enough charges to make leaving the scene a detail.

IANAProsecutor (and my experience with a prosecutor is they think cyclists should go away) but would have laid a laundry list of charges, including manslaughter, even if I didn't expect it to survive a plea  bargain. 

I found this as an example of where manslaughter charges were laid.  I'd say this event deserved it more than that one, a lot more deliberate behaviour.  OTOH Bryant has intrinsic pull.

 

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