Ontario family remembers 'remarkable' cyclist
The woman killed Tuesday while cycling along Queen Street in downtown Ottawa was an immigration officer with the federal government, her father told CBC News.
Danielle Naçu, 33, was riding between Metcalfe and O’Connor streets around 9 a.m. ET Tuesday when she collided with a car door.
Witnesses said the door of the car, which was parked in a legal parking spot, opened and Naçu collided with it, falling into the path of a car travelling behind her.
Naçu was treated by paramedics and transported to hospital, but she was later pronounced dead.
She was very smart and really well-loved...it is the saddest day of my life.
Her father Tom told the CBC's Ashley Burke she had worked in Ottawa with Citizenship and Immigration Canada for the past two years and was completing her second bachelor's degree.
She also grew up riding bikes, her father said, as he used to own a bicycle distribution company for 15 years.
Father says daughter was a careful cyclist
He also said he taught Danielle, his only daughter, and 35-year-old son Brent to be safe cyclists.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I ever anticipate....because she was not a risk taker, she was quite level-headed," said Tom Naçu, who fought off tears from his home in Brampton, Ont.
"She was very smart and really well-loved...it is the saddest day of my life."
Naçu's brother Brent, who lives in Toronto, said his sister volunteered for local homeless shelters such as The Ottawa Mission. She also spent time volunteering her time at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health.
"Danielle was one of those remarkable characters, selfless, completely committed," said Brent.
"This is not a loss for any one area, or group, for my family, this is a loss for the City of Ottawa, for the federal government, for the country. There are not enough young people like my sister who are exemplary."
The Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health said they would be holding a special ceremony this evening during the weekly culture night to honour Naçu, whom they described in a statement as "dedicated, easy going and loved by all."
Family driving to Ottawa Wednesday
Naçu's father was set to drive to Ottawa Wednesday morning from Brampton, while her brother was driving from Toronto.
Tom Naçu said his daughter, who just turned 33 in August, purchased a condominium in the nation's capital in April. She was also planning to earn a master's degree in order to work for the United Nations.
"She absorbed her mother's gentleness and her kindness, and her friendliness and she absorbed my logic and orderliness, so she had the best of both worlds," Naçu said.
"Unfortunately, we'll never be grandparents [from] her side now."
Mourners continued to lay flowers Wednesday around a nearby fire hydrant, in addition to a ghost bike, which is known as a small memorial for cyclists who are killed or hit on the street.
In all cases, a bicycle is painted all white and locked to a street sign near the crash site and a small plaque usually accompanies it.
A memorial ride is also planned for October 18 in Naçu's honour. It will start at 9 a.m. at the intersection of Queen Street and Bronson Avenue exactly one week after she was struck. The ride will end at Queen and Elgin streets.
With files from the CBC's Ashley Burke and Giacomo Panico