Thursday, August 27, 2009

Update on Ottawa Cyclists

OTTAWA — Five more criminal charges have been laid against the Ottawa man accused of driving into five cyclists on March Road in Kanata July 19.

Sommit Luangpakham, 45, is to appear in Ottawa court Wednesday on five counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm.

Luangpakham had been released on $55,000 bail and several strict conditions after he was initially charged under the Criminal Code with five counts of failing to stop at the scene of an accident causing bodily harm.

Robert Wein, Mark White, Hilary McNamee, Cathy Anderson and Rob Harland were riding in the bike lane on the northbound side of March Road near Solandt Road when they were struck around 8 a.m. that morning.

Wein — the most seriously injured cyclist — was still in hospital, though he had recently been transferred out of the Civic hospital's intensive care unit.

The other cyclists are recovering from their injuries.

Update: The driver was found guilty - (CBC)


Ben said...

Thanks for the update

gwadzilla said...

local for you!

had you heard about this?

hope all is well on your side of the border!

Tino said...

Hey Gwad,

Thanks for the link ... cool.
Things are okay up here but hey could be better. Hope you are doing great in D.C.!

electric said...

I hope they all will able to get back on their bicycles. The sooner the better.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the update Martino.

Anonymous said...

I worked with Rob Wein several years ago - very decent, bright guy - definitely full of life.

What a shock this tragedy was, I've been trying to follow his progress as often a possible praying he makes it through ok.

I was hit by a car in Ottawa in '92, my right leg was run over, tearing my knee up pretty badly, I also had a ton of road rash and many cuts but fortunately - by a few inched - the wheels missed my head.

The driver continued on for about a block - as if the whole thing wasn't such a big deal even though i was on his hood and windshield for part of the ride as he raced down the street, tires squealing.

There was no law suit, it was settled through Ontario's no fault insurance system.

This experience taught me, considering the conditions of my own case, that the current view from the police is that the cyclist has to have sustained more severe injuries before charges are laid against the driver (this is all unspoken, of course).

Obviously, more needs to be done to recognize cyclists rights to the road. It's too dangerous for them out there.

I stopped riding on *any* roadway because of it, I know there are driver's out there with *attitude* towards cyclists.

These events happen far too often, and the vast majority go unheard in the media.

It unfortunately takes a profile like Michael Bryant's and his killing of cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard to make the headlines.

Here's my guess:

Michael is a savvy lawyer who'll likely come out spinning some sentimental version about how he and his wife felt *very threatened* by this crazed man on his 25lb bicycle - he simply had no choice but to protect himself and his family.

I wouldn't doubt for a second if he went in that hotel's bar just after the incident to pound back some liquor to obscure any dui results.

This was exactly what Cpl. Benjamin
Monty Robinson did (he is one of the RCMP officers who killed Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver Airport in 2007). After Robinson hit and killed motorcyclist Orion Hutchinson with his jeep, Robinson claimed that he left the scene, walked home and drank 2 shots of vodka.

Bottom line - if your a cyclist be darn careful out - the truth is your rights to the road aren't as recognized as they should be, and the police need to do more in this country to protect them.

That's my rant....