The Ottawa cycling community suffered a loss this past Thursday when Mario Théoret was stuck by a transport truck at 7:50 a.m. during his morning commute.
Théoret and the truck were travelling east on Hunt Club Road when the truck made a right-hand turn onto Merivale Road and killed Théoret. The intersection is considered one of the most dangerous ones in Ottawa for cyclists.
The community has placed a ghost bike at the corner of Hunt Club Road and Merivale Road where the collision occurred. The bike was placed there on Sunday morning and more than 50 people showed up to leave flowers and other appreciative tokens.
Théoret was an active figure in Ottawa cycling circles, regularly posting on message boards and helping build mountain bikes trails. Cyclists around Ottawa want to name a trail he had built after him. It is currently known as the M-Line, but he never wanted to take credit for what he had done to help the community. They are pushing for it to be renamed the Mario Line.
The 38 year old was the co-founder of Trips For Kids Ottawa, a charity organization that takes underprivileged children mountain biking. Co-founder Cat Weaver told the CBC “He was always ready to help in any way.”
Weaver hopes she can continue to manage the organization. But with the absence of Théoret, who ran the charity out of his home, Trips For Kids’ future is in question.
Shop owners on Hunt Club Road have previously expressed concerns over the speed of traffic along the street. Théoret had recently been vocal about his concern over the safety of the bike lanes on Hunt Club Road. He had been filming his commutes with a handlebar-mounted camera to capture footage he could present to the city.
The police are still investigating the collision.