Ottawa

Cyclist killed in hit-and-run on Leitrim Road early Sunday

Police are pleading for anyone with a guilty conscience to come forward after a hit-and-run crash early Sunday killed a cyclist in south Ottawa.

'The best thing that you can do is actually turn yourself in and call police,' police inspector says

Ottawa police are looking for the driver of a vehicle that struck and killed a cyclist. 1:49

Police are pleading for anyone with a guilty conscience to come forward after a hit-and-run crash early Sunday killed a cyclist in south Ottawa.

Ottawa police Insp. John Medeiros says the best thing for the driver to do is come forward. (CBC News)
The fatal crash happened on Leitrim Road, just west of Albion Road near the Ottawa airport, just before 6 a.m.

"The best thing that you can do is actually turn yourself in and call police. That's the best measure," said Ottawa police Insp. John Medeiros at the scene, adding that any witnesses should also call investigators.

"We believe the vehicle would have left eastbound from the collision site, so towards Albion Road, somewhere between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. So if anyone noticed a motor vehicle of some sort with fresh front-end damage, please call the police."

The victim has not been identified, but paramedics and police said he was a man believed to be in his 30s.

A description of the vehicle wasn't available.

'A dead loved one — it's just sad'

Chad Vanasse's father was the person who called 911 in the minutes following the loud crash.

Chad Vanasse says his father is shaken up after tending to the cyclist before emergency responders arrived. (CBC News)
"He ran right up to the guy to check up on him. He was telling him emergency services were coming. He wasn't too sure if he was still alive or not," Vanasse, 18, told CBC News. "You can tell it's getting to him. Seeing stuff like that, it messes you up pretty good."

Vanasse said he feels bad for the victim's family.

"Just out of nowhere [they're] going to get a call ... and they can't find the person who did it and they just ran away from the scene. A dead loved one — it's just sad," he said.

When paramedics arrived the cyclist was in cardiac arrest, suffering from traumatic, blunt-force injuries, said paramedic Supt. Steven Leu.

The cyclist briefly regained a pulse en route to hospital, but despite aggressive resuscitation measures he was pronounced dead at The Ottawa Hospital's civic campus trauma unit, Leu said.

Road is 'dangerous,' cyclist says

Christine Gordon, who cycles in the area, said that while the posted speed limit on Leitrim Road near the crash site is 50 km/h, motorists generally travel at speeds of anywhere from 60-80 km/h.

Christine Gordon, seen here cycling on Leitrim Road near the scene of Sunday's fatal hit-and-run, says it's a busy, dangerous stretch of road for cyclists. (CBC News)
"It's usually very busy and there's a lot of traffic. You find that there's not a lot of space on the side, so there's not anywhere to go for bikers," she said Sunday.

"It is very nerve-wracking. It's dangerous and there's not much room for you to bike, so it's very scary."

Leitrim Road was closed between Bowesville and Gilligan roads for six hours as collision investigators and forensics teams analyzed the scene. The road has since reopened.

No arrests have been made.

Witnesses or anyone who saw a vehicle with fresh damage on its front end early Sunday morning is asked to call the Ottawa police collision investigation unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 2481, or phone Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477(TIPS), toll free at 1-800-222-8477 and online here.