Cyclist killed in collision with streetcar

A cyclist has been killed in Toronto after a collision with a Spadina streetcar.
The twisted frame of a bicycle lies on Lake Shore Boulevard after its rider was killed in a collision with a TTC streetcar. ((Colin Butler/CBC) )

There's been another traffic fatality in Toronto — this time a cyclist has been killed in a collision with a streetcar on the Spadina route.

The man died on Friday morning, after being hit by a streetcar just after 7:30 a.m. ET.

The 60-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The cyclist did move across the path of the streetcar," said police Const. Hugh Smith. 

In instances like this one, said Smith, it is almost impossible for the streetcar driver to avoid a collision.

"[The streetcar is] a large vehicle that doesn't have the capacity to stop in a short distance — by the sheer size of it — and there's not too much [the driver] can do.  It's on fixed rails." 

The accident happened near the intersection of Spadina Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard West.

There has been increased focus on traffic safety in the city over the past few days after a rash of accidents involving pedestrians.

But the Spadina streetcar right-of-way has also been the location of a number of accidents. Friday's death brings to three the number of cyclists killed or badly injured in collisions with streetcars on Spadina Avenue in just over a year.

In September 2009, a 66-year-old cyclist was critically injured when he turned into the path of a streetcar. He died in hospital a few days later. Police said the man went through a red signal at Nassau Street while the streetcar was proceeding through the intersection on a green light.

In July, a 30-year-old cyclist was seriously injured when he cut in front of a streetcar and was pinned beneath the vehicle for about five minutes before emergency workers could free him. Police said that cyclist made an illegal turn into the path of the streetcar and was struck before the driver could stop.

There was also a pedestrian fatality on the Spadina streetcar route this year. An 81-year-old pedestrian died after being stuck by a northbound streetcar near Sullivan Street on Sept. 14. The man was crossing the street when he walked into the path of the oncoming TTC vehicle.