Ottawa

Driver charged in hit-and-run that killed cyclist

Ottawa police have charged 33-year-old Mukwoh Jordan-Wade Land in the death of a cyclist on Laurier Avenue W. this May.

Mukwoh Jordan-Wade Land facing charges of dangerous driving causing death, failing to stop

Westbound Laurier Avenue W. was closed May 16 after the crash near Confederation Park. (Giacomo Panico/CBC)

Ottawa police have charged a driver in connection with the death of a cyclist in front of Ottawa City Hall in May.

Mukwoh Jordan-Wade Land, 33, has been charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death and failing to stop at the scene of a collision causing death.

It comes nearly three months after a 60-year-old male cyclist, whose identity has not been released, was killed the morning of May 16 as he travelled west along a bike lane on Laurier Avenue W. toward Elgin Street.

At the time, police said the driver of the black minivan that struck the cyclist abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot.

The cyclist suffered critical injuries and was pronounced dead later that day at the Ottawa Hospital's Civic campus trauma unit.

Court documents show Land was arrested on May 17, the day after the crash, and charged with obstructing a peace officer, possession of a controlled substance (fentanyl) and nine firearms-related charges.

Less than a week later, the fentanyl charge was upgraded to possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Const. Amy Gagnon said Land has been held in custody for the last three months, prior to the charges being laid in relation to the cyclist's death.

The crash led to calls to change the road's design, which has a bike lane between a right turn lane for vehicles and through traffic, and is close to a merge lane off the Queen Elizabeth Driveway.

Const. Amy Gagnon explains why the charges against Mukwoh Jordan-Wade Land, 33, have been laid now when the collision happened in May. 0:46

It also led to a memorial ride and demonstration, where cycling advocates laid down red cups along the lane to point out that the design could be safer.

Heather Shearer, the president of Bike Ottawa, said she hopes the charges "will help to bring some sense of justice to those who are grieving."

In a statement, Shearer said the city has an opportunity to make a meaningful gesture by improving the intersection.

The driver of the black van involved in the crash stopped nearby on Mackenzie King Bridge. Police say the driver fled the scene. (Giacomo Panico/CBC)