Toronto cycling community holds ghost ride for Kartik Saini
Cyclist killed by driver making illegal right turnPhoto by: David Shellnutt
On Wednesday night several hundred cyclists braved the cold and wind to escort a ghost bike memorial to the site of Kartik Saini’s death. The tweny-year-old college student was killed last Nov. 30 when a pickup driver hit and dragged him.
Saini was an international student from India, and had just arrived in Toronto in September of 2021. The truck driver was was heading west on St. Clair Avenue and turned right to go north on Yonge Street. Saini was crossing Yonge Street and heading eastbound. Right turns are not allowed between 4 and 6 p.m. during the week at that intersection.
Overwhelming feeling this evening. Not my first Ghost Bike Ride…in this city without the #PoliticalWill to prioritize vulnerable road users, it’s likely not my last.
Appreciate @RespectTO @TheBikingLawyer leading our group to Yonge and St. Clair #BikeTO pic.twitter.com/zSStZ23NAv
— Bicycle Mayor of Toronto (@BicycleMayorTO) December 1, 2022
David Shellnutt, also known as The Biking Lawyer, was there and summed up the memorial ride. “Though the occasion was sad and somber, the cycling community really pulled together in a show of force for Kartik and for safe streets,” he said. “There is a palpable feeling of outrage that charges still haven’t been laid, at least for the illegal right turn that killed Kartik. Investigations ongoing or not, it seems clear to everyone this obvious infraction should be addressed forthright.”
Thank you to everyone who came to honour the memory of Kartik Saini tonight, and to our friends in @RespectTO for unfailingly doing the work of preparing and installing ghost bikes. As they say, you never ride alone. 💔 #GhostBike #TODeadlyStreets #BikeTO #DeadlyByDesign pic.twitter.com/JyPA5myDrr
— FFSS (@FFSafeStreets) December 1, 2022
As the Toronto Star reported, the family back home is devastated. Shellnutt says the pain will be felt by so many of those who knew him. “In these cases, through the driver’s accident benefits insurance, funeral costs and family psychological supports are payable without much delay. We hope that the family has retained counsel, and these supports are being pursued.”
Over 100 cyclists rode tonite in memory of Seneca student Kartik Saini, 20, killed while riding a bicycle at St. Clair & Yonge last week #YouNeverRideAlone #biketo @RespectTO @cycleto @blogTO @CBCToronto pic.twitter.com/0HuiN4QW5L
— Martin Reis (@BikeLaneDiary) December 1, 2022
According to the reports, there seems difficulty repatriating Kartik’s body to India. Shellnut said he would hope his family’s counsel and relevant authorities remedy this without delay. “Losing a loved one to road violence is incredibly traumatic, it need not be exacerbated by delays, lagging investigations, and silence from the authorities.”