Witnesses are being asked to come forward after a cyclist was killed after colliding with a garbage truck in Nepean Thursday morning.
Emergency crews were called at 8:05 to Clyde Ave. and Lotta Ave., just north of the Merivale Ave. split. The victim, a man, was dead when paramedics arrived, spokesman J.P. Trottier said.
It appeared both the cyclist and garbage truck were southbound on Clyde when they collided, but cops are working to confirm the details, said Ottawa Police Sgt. Wally McIlquham. They are trying to determine if the man was on his bike or walking it across the intersection when he was struck.
A blue tarp covered the victim’s body, while investigators waited for the coroner to arrive.
A maroon Supercycle mountain bike was lying on the road, with a white shoe a few metres away.
Police and Ministry of Transportation inspectors were at the scene examining a blue BFI garbage truck.
The southbound lanes of Clyde and the westbound lane of Lotta Ave. were taped off.
The road was closed for most of the morning while police investigated.
It’s “way too early” to know if charges will be laid against the truck driver, said Ottawa Police spokesman Const. Marc Soucy.
“It’s going to take a while.”
The garbage truck driver was “shaken up” and being comforted by family and friends.
“It’s a horrific thing that nobody wants to be in,” McIlquham said.
A spokeswoman for BFI Canada, the company that owns the garbage truck, called it a tragic accident and expressed condolences to the victim’s family. The company and its driver were co-operating with the police investigation, she said.
“It’s a sad day for the company,” said Chaya Cooperberg, a vice-president for BFI, whose parent company Progressive Waste is headquartered in Toronto.
Cooperberg said she didn’t have any information about the experience of the driver or the route he was on Thursday morning. The truck was collecting garbage on one of its commercial routes, she said.
Martin Settle said he’s been cycling for 25 years “in four different countries,” and feels “a deep sense of loss, even though I have no idea who (the victim) is.”
Word of a fellow cyclist being killed took Settle back to his own experience in Nepean in 2012.
He said he was hit at Merivale Mall while heading south.
“A light had changed as I approached — heavy traffic, as usual, on the street,” said Settle.
“Essentially, without signalling, a large SUV just turned right into the parking lot.”
Settle said he was beside the SUV.
“I managed to pull myself onto the curb but the truck hit my shoulder, and I ended up going down, and rolling across the intersection … I’m not sure that the driver even noticed.”
Two motorists behind the SUV stopped to check on Settle, he said.
“I was kind of scraped and bruised,” he said.
Settle said he was planning to join a group of cyclists for a “critical mass” ride on Bank St. later Thursday.
Witnesses to the Clyde Ave. fatal are asked to call 613-236-1222, ext. 2481.