Cyclist advocate killed while riding his bike
Gary Sim died of his injuries on Sunday.
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Gary Sim was a tireless defender of cyclists in Toronto.
The 70-year-old had deftly mastered Twitter, tweeting about everything from snow in bike lanes to street safety.
But last week the husband, father and grandfather of six was hit by a driver while riding his bike just minutes from home. He died of his injuries Sunday.
It was his family who decided to send one final Twitter message to his followers and the cycling community he loved.
"#BikeTO this is my last tweet as I pedal my ghost bike with you all I was struck down 06/30 while riding and did not survive #sharetheroad," it reads.
Daughter Heather Sim said her father was a very experienced cyclist who'd biked across Germany and had just returned from a cycling trip in Fort Erie.
"I didn't want this to go by without people knowing what happened," she said, explaining the family's decision to send the tweet.
Const. Clint Stibbe said Wednesday that the investigation into Sim's death is ongoing and no charges have been laid against the driver.
Sim is the second cyclist killed on Toronto's roads this year. The first was five-year-old Xavier Morgan, who was hit after he fell into traffic while riding on the Martin Goodman Trail in late May.
Sim was born and raised in Toronto, near where he was hit at Jane Street and Alliance Avenue. He was a retired chartered accountant and loved playing guitar at The Jam, a North York club for musicians, said his daughter.
"Music and biking were two very, very important things to him that defined him," said Heather, adding her dad cycled every day, was "extremely healthy" and could have easily lived another 15-20 years.
"It was very senseless, and he lost his life, and we lost him," she said.
A police media release from earlier this week did not name Sim but said a 70-year-old man was riding his bike westbound on the north sidewalk of Alliance Avenue approaching Jane Street. He was struck by a male driver in a 2012 Ford van attempting to make a right turn into a driveway on Jane.
Jared Kolb, executive director of advocacy group Cycle Toronto, said he met Sim though the biking community.
"These circumstances are tragic and they have an impact far beyond the individual that's killed and the person who's involved," he said.
"It ripples across families and shatters lives. It's devastating."
Heather did not want to comment on the investigation but said her father would have wanted to get out the message that drivers need to share the road.
He'd been threatened, run off the road and even physically assaulted by drivers, she added.
"The vehicle's always going to win," she said. "That's something that we'd like to get across because that's something he was an advocate for.
"He was an advocate for it and it ended up killing him."
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