News / Toronto

Victims of Toronto's deadly streets: Edouard Le Blanc

Cyclist Edouard Le Blanc was killed Oct. 9, 2014 while cycling along the Gatineau Hydro Corridor bike trail in Scarborough.

Maisie LeBlanc and her son, Kevin, visit Warden Avenue and the Gatineau Hydro Corridor trail in Scarborough. Edouard Le Blanc, 62, was killed there in 2014, shortly after retiring from his job as a custodian at Sainte-Madeleine elementary school in North York.

Liz Beddall/Metro

Maisie LeBlanc and her son, Kevin, visit Warden Avenue and the Gatineau Hydro Corridor trail in Scarborough. Edouard Le Blanc, 62, was killed there in 2014, shortly after retiring from his job as a custodian at Sainte-Madeleine elementary school in North York.

When Maisie Le Blanc’s husband, Edouard, retired in 2014, the couple made plans to travel the globe.

They started with something simple: a brief sojourn to see relatives in New Brunswick.

“Little did we know that would be our first and last retirement trip together,” Maisie said.

On Oct. 9, 2014, Edouard was cycling the Gatineau Hydro Corridor bike trail near his home in Scarborough when he was hit by a driver on Warden Avenue. According to witnesses, Edouard had the right of way, and the driver ran the red light.

“He just sailed right through. There weren’t even any skid marks,” Maisie said.

Edouard, 62, died at the scene. He was knocked unconscious immediately. Maisie takes comfort in the fact he didn’t suffer.

The crash was so severe that Edouard’s family was unable to donate his organs, something he had asked for in his will.

“I couldn’t even fulfill his last wish,” Maisie said.

After a 19-month legal battle, the driver responsible pleaded guilty to careless driving and received a $700 fine and six demerit points.

“The driver was 100 per cent at fault and this is all we can hope for? I don’t know what kind of message that sends,” Maisie said. “No amount of money can bring my husband back. I get that.

“But $700? Is that really it?”

The pain never goes away, Maisie said.

“My husband left for a bike ride on a Thursday afternoon and never came back. Never getting a chance to say goodbye or tell him how much I loved him. It’s enough to stop me in my tracks.”

The couple was married for 30 years, and liked to go on walks through their neighbourhood together. Maisie has kept up the tradition.

Sometimes, she and her son Kevin go to the intersection where Eduardo’s life was cut short. Until recently, a white ghost bike had been stationed there, complete with a Montreal Canadiens toque, Edouard’s favourite team.

“It took me a while before I could go to the scene,” Maisie said. “I would be walking there, and if a cyclist went by me, I would say ‘it’s Ed.’ All of a sudden everything would come back.”

The hardest thing to accept about her husband’s death is that “it was so preventable,” Maisie said.

Through speaking out, she hopes other tragedies can be avoided.

“To remain silent is no good,” she said. “These stories need to be told. People have to know what’s going on.”

All too often, the stories of people who’ve been hit by cars go untold. Share your stories on Twitter using the #TODeadlyStreets hashtag or email luke.simcoe@metronews.ca.

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