News / Toronto

A simple rail could have saved five-year-old's life, insists city cycling advocate

“I don’t put blame on the driver, the parent, or whoever was with the child. The blame goes on the city’s infrastructure.”

A cyclist rides past the spot on Lake Shore Blvd. W. where a young boy fell from his bike and into traffic on Wednesday evening.

Torstar News Service

A cyclist rides past the spot on Lake Shore Blvd. W. where a young boy fell from his bike and into traffic on Wednesday evening.

A simple guard rail could have saved the life of a five-year-old boy who was fatally struck by a car Wednesday evening when he fell into traffic from a bike trail next to Lake Shore Blvd. W., says a cycling advocate.

“This was a devastating incident,” said Jared Kolb of Cycle City, a not-for-profit advocacy group that educates Torontonians on a safer cycling culture.

“I don’t put blame on the driver, the parent, or whoever was with the child,” Kolb said. “The blame goes on the city’s infrastructure.”

Just after 6:20 p.m., police received a call for a personal injury collision near 1395 Lake Shore Blvd. W after a young boy riding west on a bike trail, on the south side of Lake Shore Blvd. W, fell on the roadway and was hit by a car.

Paramedics rushed the boy to the Hospital for Sick Children, where he died of his injures.

The 29-year-old driver of the 2013 Toyota Camry remained on the scene.

Toronto police Const. Clint Stibbe said there is no barrier between the path and the road, but that the path in that area is “not closer (to the roadway) than any other bike paths” in the city.

According to Kolb, the lack of a barrier is the problem.

“The city’s adopted a plan that has not done its job and not prevented life-changing incidents,” said Kolb. “We need a systematic overturn of how we design bike trails next to highways.

“I’ve ridden on that trail. It’s for anyone riding, walking, rollerblading, skateboarding, all adjacent to a highway. This incident was a matter of time.”

Toronto Star opinions editor Scott Colby was biking in the area shortly after the accident happened, and said “it was like witnessing a nightmare.”

People at the scene told Colby the boy was accompanied by an adult when he fell onto the road.

“So many lives destroyed in an instant. That poor sweet boy, the guardian, his parents, the driver. It's impossible to make sense of it all,” said Colby.

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