Cyclist killed in midtown Toronto was student from India, family member says
Kartik Saini, a student at Sheridan College, was hit and dragged by a motorist on Wednesday
A 20-year-old cyclist who was killed on Wednesday in midtown Toronto has been identified by a family member in India.
Kartik Saini, an international student, was hit and dragged by the driver of a white pickup truck at the intersection of Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue at about 4:30 p.m.
Police have not yet identified the victim. But his cousin told CBC Toronto on Friday that Saini came to Canada in August 2021. Parveen Saini spoke from the city of Karnal in the northern Indian state of Haryana, where their family is from.
The family is hoping that Saini's body will be sent to India as soon as possible for proper burial, he said.
Sheridan College has confirmed that he was a student there.
"Our community is deeply saddened by the sudden death of Kartik. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, peers and professors," the college said in an email on Friday.
In a news release on Thursday, police said the driver of a Ford F-250 truck was heading west on St. Clair Avenue East and turned right to go north on Yonge. At the same time, the cyclist was crossing Yonge eastbound.
"The driver of the Ford pick-up struck the cyclist and continued northbound on Yonge Street with the bike and cyclist lodged underneath the vehicle," police said in the release.
Emergency services tried to free the cyclist and revive him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Right turns at that intersection are prohibited from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, but police have not yet said if the driver will be ticketed or charged.
Toronto police still investigating
Const. Laura Brabant, spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service, said there's still an active investigation into the collision.
"The determination on whether charges are laid or not takes time as the investigators have to conduct a full investigation first," Brabant said in an email on Friday.
"This takes time and is not a rushed process."
A makeshift memorial has been set up at the scene of the collision.
Our community grieves. We will gather to remember Kartik Saini, a 20 year old student from India. <a href="https://twitter.com/RespectTO?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RespectTO</a> has organized a memorial ride, ending with the placement of a ghost bike at the crash site. Wednesday, Nov. 30, 6:00-8:00pm. All are welcome. <a href="https://t.co/Bq8YiMRdrC">https://t.co/Bq8YiMRdrC</a> <a href="https://t.co/acwFLJEcjc">https://t.co/acwFLJEcjc</a> <a href="https://t.co/QfabPNM4zl">pic.twitter.com/QfabPNM4zl</a>—@Yonge4All
David Shelnutt, a Toronto lawyer who describes himself as the biking lawyer, said the collision raises many questions and he noted that the cyclist was killed by a "right-turning motorist."
"As lawyers for injured cyclists who have been "right hooked" (myself included) we know that motorists frequently fail to properly look out for vulnerable road users," Shelnutt wrote in an email on Friday.
"Drivers frequently fail to look for cyclists or pedestrians as they race to make a light or beat on oncoming vehicle," he continued.
"As winter approaches, snow falls, and light conditions vary, we call upon all road users to exercise extreme caution. People cycle year-round in Toronto, please watch out for them, and consider the safety of others over an unnecessary urge to speed through that yellow light or pass that streetcar. Someone's life could hang in the balance."
A group called Advocacy For Respect For Cyclists is organizing a ride in Saini's honour on Nov. 30.
Participants will meet at 6:00 p.m. at Matt Cohen Park at Bloor Street and Spadina Avenue. The ride departs at 6:30 p.m. and it will end with the placement of a ghost bike at the crash site.
With files from Sneha Agrawal