Friends and relatives of Rocco D'Angelo are mourning and hoping for answers after he was struck and killed by an SUV while he was crossing Greenbank Road on Tuesday.

"He was a gentle giant. He would never hurt a fly. He would never hurt anybody. He was full of love, my brother. He loved his family, loved his fiancée," said D'Angelo's brother, Claudio D'Angelo.


Rocco D'Angelo had no children of his own, but was an uncle of his brother's children. (Family photo)

Rocco D'Angelo was collecting garbage when he was hit.

Police said he was crossing from the east side of the road to the west side when an SUV struck him at about 12:45 p.m. He died in hospital later Tuesday night.

Rocco D'Angelo had just become engaged to his fiancée last weekend, and Claudio D'Angelo said his brother was the happiest he had ever been.

Well known in Italian community

He was well known in Ottawa's Italian community and had worked for years at the Labour Group, where longtime friend Nick Caravatta was his boss.

"He was always willing to go beyond to satisfy his friends, his family, without any hesitation at all," Caravatta said. "… He's going to be greatly missed here by his colleagues and, mostly, by me. He was probably the first voice I would hear in the morning, coming in here and commencing my day."

Caravatta said Rocco D'Angelo was well trained to do the job safely and had done it for years.

R.W. Tomlinson, the company that runs the garbage collection service Rocco D'Angelo was working with that day, said it's the first time one of its employees has been hit by a vehicle. And like other companies, its employees are never asked to cross the street.

The Ministry of Labour has been contacted.

Police have determined that speed and alcohol were not factors in the crash.