No charges in cycling death: Cyclists, drivers still need more training says Hill

A Sarnia cyclist who saw Denis Ross being run over by a transport says every cyclist could use a refresher course on the rules of the road.

Sarnia Police announced recently they would not be laying charges in the death of the 61-year-old Sarnia man who was killed at the corner of London and Indian Roads November 2011. Officials say Ross was riding through a crosswalk when he was run over by a transport.

Joe Hill was just feet away from Ross when the accident occurred. The cyclist says he’s still haunted by the memory of that day. “I just saw the back wheels of the truck go over his body,” Hill called 9-1-1 and a nurse who was on the road helped as much as she could. Hill says the truck driver was distraught. “The poor truck driver was taking it the worst of us all.”

Hill was one of the many cyclists from across the city who formed an honour guard when Ross was buried. As police wrap up the investigation, Hill is reflecting on the incident.

“It really is a sad thing,” he says. “It reinforces that riding on the sidewalks or riding in the wrong lanes is not a good idea.

“It shows we require a lot more education on the part of cyclist and on the part of drivers…everyone could use a refresher course.”

Hill, who is a Can Bike training course instructor, says a recent police crackdown in the city may have seemed heavy handed, but he hopes many of the 150 people charged will take the opportunity to avoid a fine and take a bike safety course. “Even though it sounds as though were persecute people on bikes were really trying to help them out and keep them alive.”

Meantime, a Share the Road Memorial Ride is planned for June 24 starting at 6pm. Eleanor McMahon, CEO Share the Road Cycling Coalition will be part of the 10km ride from Sarnia City Hall to Canatara Park to remember those killed while cycling including Ross and Gerald Plain of Aamjiwnaang First Nation who was killed in November 2012 while riding on Lasalle Road.

Hill says the ride is open to anyone.

– Heather Wright