Nova Scotia

Off-duty police officer helps save cyclist after St. Margarets Bay Road hit and run

An off-duty police officer had only one thought when she saw a cyclist fly into the air after being hit by a truck — slam on her brakes and help.

'I have been a police officer for 22 years. This one really got to me. It was senseless'

Halifax Regional Police Const. Stephanie Glendenning helped save a cyclist who had been struck in a hit and run. (CBC)

An off-duty police officer had only one thought when she saw a cyclist fly into the air after being hit by a truck — slam on her brakes and help.

Const. Stephanie Glendenning, a 22-year veteran with the Halifax Regional Police, was on her way to feed her sister's cats when she witnessed cyclist Tim Lane get hit by a pickup truck Monday morning.

"He clipped the cyclist, so the cyclist flew up into the air. I slammed the brakes on in my Jeep and the truck kept going," said Glendenning.

Stephanie Lane says her husband Tim, who was hit while cycling on St. Margarets Bay Road, is in an induced coma and on a ventilator in hospital after the collision. (Stephanie Lane)

The collision happened in the inbound lane, on the 5500 block of St. Margarets Bay Road.

When Glendenning got out of her car to help, the black truck took off.

"It made me really angry when I saw him drive away," she said.

"As a police officer the first thing I thought of was, 'You waited for me to get out of my truck and get far enough away from my Jeep that you knew I wouldn't have time to run back and start it, turn around and catch you.'"

Unconscious and bleeding

She and a man from a nearby Nova Scotia Power office called 911.

Glendenning said Lane was unconscious and bleeding from the nose. While they waited for an ambulance, she got into her Jeep and tried to catch the truck. She said the bed of the pickup truck appeared to be flat with small, round brake lights.

She couldn't find it and didn't get the licence plate. The ambulance arrived a short time later.

'I'm not an extraordinary hero'

"I have been a police officer for 22 years. This one really got to me. It was senseless. I mean, if it was an accident it was an accident, there was no reason to leave this gentleman on the side of the road," Glendenning said.

"Everybody is kind of praising me up for doing what I did. I really think any good, responsible human being should have and would have done the same thing. I'm not an extraordinary hero or anything like that for having stopped when I saw this."

'It's despicable'

Stephanie Lane, Tim Lane's wife, is still trying to come to grips with what happened.

"It's disgusting. I can't believe people would do something like that. It's unforgivable," Stephanie Lane told CBC's Maritime Noon.

"If someone had hit him and stopped to help him that's something else. But the fact that this person just kept going, I just can't imagine that there's any circumstance ever that would excuse that behaviour. It's despicable."

Dangerous road for cyclists and pedestrians

Tim Lane has a fractured skull, a small bleed in his brain, punctured lungs, broken ribs, a broken femur and a ruptured spleen. The family has started an online fundraiser to cover expenses related to his recovery.

"He's in an induced coma right now and on a ventilator so his body can rest," said his wife.

She said St. Margarets Bay Road, is busy, filled with speeders and there's no shoulder on the road, so cycling there is dangerous.

That's echoed by other people who live in the area.

Michelle Aucoin says it's time St. Margarets Bay Road was made safer for cyclists and pedestrians. She says reducing the speed limit and having more police in the area would help. (David Burke/CBC)

"[I'm] very leery about my kids walking or biking on this road at anytime," said Michelle Aucoin.

"Just up the road here where there's an intersection across from an elementary school, there's lights — I can't tell you how many times people just go on through reds. It's ridiculous."

Aucoin would like to see the speed limit reduced and a greater police presence in the area to better control traffic.

'Everyone is rooting for him'

While police investigate, Stephanie Lane says she'll help her husband the only way she can.

"A lot of sitting beside his hospital bed," she said.

"Just trying to stay with him and keep him calm and keep him comfortable and just let him know that everyone is rooting for him."

With files from Maritime Noon