Ottawa cyclist dies in downtown hit-and-run, driver flees the scene on foot

A person riding on a painted bike lane on Laurier Avenue W. was struck by a driver at the wheel of a minivan who ran away from the scene

May 16th, 2019 by | Posted in News |

An Ottawa cyclist has died in hospital after a hit-and-run that took place in the downtown on Thursday morning. Police are still looking for the driver of the minivan who exited his vehicle and fled the scene on foot as first reported by the CBC.

The cyclist was hit by the driver while riding in a painted bike lane on the westbound side of Laurier Avenue at 7:20 a.m. near where traffic from the Queen Elizabeth Driveway merges onto Laurier. The cyclist, who was believed to be between 55 and 60 years old, suffered severe head injuries and multi-system trauma when he was hit off his bicycle according to Ottawa paramedic spokesperson Marc-Antoine Deschamp. He was taken to local hospital where he was later announced dead.

“He sustained some very significant head injuries,” Deschamps told CBC. “Paramedics tried to stabilize on scene and on the way to the trauma centre with life-threatening injuries.”

Meanwhile, the police continue to search for the suspect who abandoned a black minivan on the nearby Mackenzie King Bridge. The vehicle was extensively damaged on the right front side including a broken windshield and bumper.

After the cyclist was announced dead, an impromptu vigil took place. Advocates and Ottawa cyclists raised their voice on social media saying the painted bike lane that is not segregated from vehicles traffic on the street the cyclist was killed is not safe. Advocates say the city needs to do more to build the necessary infrastructure to protect vulnerable road users.

Police are asking anyone who witnessed the crash, took video or photos of the collision, or has other information to call the collision investigation unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 2481.