UPDATE: Former Ontario Attorney General charged in fatal collision

Bryant offers condolences to victim’s family


UPDATE: Bryant has been charged with criminal negligence causing death and  dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death. CTV news reports, he left custody Tuesday afternoon, accompanied by his lawyer and made a brief, emotional statement to the media. “I want to extend my deepest condolences to the family of Mr. (Darcy Allen) Sheppard,” he said, choking back tears. “To all those who offered support to my family in the last 12 hours, thank you.” He asked the media to respect his family’s need for distance and privacy for the next few days and asked for understanding for not making further comments on the incident.

(Sept. 1, 2009) Former Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant is in police custody and facing charges after a fatal hit-and-run in downtown Toronto last night, reports the Globe and Mail. Police sources told the paper Bryant will be charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death after a collision that left Darcy Allan Sheppard, a 33-year-old bike courier dead. Witnesses say the cyclist and a man in a convertible got into an “altercation” in which the cyclist found himself gripping the outside of the car’s driver’s door as it sped away and swerved into the oncoming lane of traffic. The cyclist then struck trees and a grey mailbox like a “human battering ram,” witnesses report. He was pronounced dead at hospital. A car that matched witnesses’ descriptions registered to the former politician was found a short time later in a hotel parking lot, metres from the crash site. Bryant was arrested shortly after. The high profile cabinet minister to Premier Dalton McGuinty left politics earlier this year to take control of Invest Toronto, an organization that promotes business investment in the Toronto area.

Globe and Mail



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UPDATE: Former Ontario Attorney General charged in fatal collision

  1. Man-O-man this is going to take their very best spin doctors to let this guy off the hook and shove it under the carpet

  2. I thought the police said it wasn't a hit and run – that the man (it hasn't been confirmed by police that it was Bryant) was the one who called 911.

  3. It looks like he called 911 from the hotel parking lot – so he did leave the scene, which constitutes running. They arrested him at the Hyatt. The full force of the law better come down on him.

  4. "metres from the crash site" is not your classic hit and run. More like "Hit and park, then call the police".

  5. He called 911 metres away… hardly a hit and run.

  6. Not the point people! He (Bryant) was driving 90 clicks/hr, the guy is hanging on for his life, Bryant then deliberately drove on the sidewalk and aimed his vehicle at large objects there to knock the cyclist off his car (i.e. mailbox/poles) – this after witnesses said he had already hit the guy on his bike. I don't care if he stopped "100 meters" away to call the police – this hasn't been varified and other witnesses had already called 911 before Bryant. He was full of rage, he has ended a life – he should have the book thrown at him. He should not get off easy because of who he is.

  7. Folks: please use the CBC news site for all matters of wild speculation, judgement and condemnation as they relate to allegations of criminal/legal sorts. It's their specialty over there.

  8. From the G&M: "Raajiv Rajadurai, 23, said he was in an eastbound vehicle on Bloor Street when he saw a cyclist slam his backpack onto the hood of a convertible and then grab the driver's side mirror as the vehicle sped away."

    Perhaps we should wait for more of the facts of the case to be established before passing judgement on anyone. Right now, there's no way to determine whether Bryant was solely and deliberately at fault, whether he acted rashly after being assaulted by a cyclist, whether the cyclist was hanging from the steering wheel — contributing to the crash, or whether both of these guys let their anger guide them, with tragic results.

    Time to chill and wait for some info.

  9. I seem to recall Bryant not being too concerned about facts when he went ahead with his "pit bull" ban.

    Ticking time bomb indeed.

  10. two wrongs, etc.

    • Perhaps, but read the Hansard reports re the breed ban. He discounted expert testimony and played up anecdotal evidence from people who couldn't ID a "pit bull" if it licked them in the face. Of course he's entitled to a fair trial, but it would have been nice if others had been as well.

      But I do love the photo of him in the back of the police cruiser. He doesn't look as smug as usual, for some reason.

      • "Of course he's entitled to a fair trial, but it would have been nice if others had been as well."

        Bryant was on the wrong side of the pit bull argument, but your comparison of the two circumstances is both logically flawed and a little nauseating.

  11. This is a classic case of road rage. My sympathies to the victim's family.

    Too often road rage comes from someone with a sense of entitlement that he/she is always in the right. Sad.

    • This is actually a classic case of you don't have a clue what actually happened, and neither do I. But feel free to be outraged.

      Thanks for your jury application.

      • You didn't read my comment correctly. I took no position on who was at fault. Both sides could have been enraged. I don;t have any way of knowing. But there seems to be little doubt at least one if not both parties was enraged.

        Expressing sympathy to a family of someone who just lost their life just seemed to be appropriate. It has nothing to do with who is at fault.

        • Oh, I read it carefully. Using the term "victim" indicates you've already decided who's at fault.
          You also said "This is" as if you were there, witnessed the whole incident and took notes.

          Had you said "This looks like" I would have agreed with you.

          Isn't language fun?

          • I think they meant "victim" as in "dead person killed in the prime of life".

            You didn't read the comment correctly, you read as you chose to read it.

  12. Most of the comments seem to be coming from people who aren't really concerned about hearing the facts of this case. Many are just sore at the pit bull ban and would crucify Michael Bryant on that alone. I'm just glad none of those people are jurors. I've been a cyclist and motorist in Toronto and I have to say, there's not a lot of awareness on both sides. Many cyclists in Toronto don't know the rules of the road (many of them don't drive) and switch between being a pedestrian and motorist depending on when it suits them the most. As for bike couriers, they often cycle like renegades through the streets with a "f*#% you" attitude. At the same time, many motorists are clueless about cyclists. I have been laden with the "door prize" several times as a cyclist or have had a car leave me 8 inches of road to ride along when there is plenty of room for everybody.

    I don't know what really happened that night between Michael Bryant and Darcy Sheppard but I can tell you that if accidentally grazed a cyclist (and it could have been Mr. Sheppard's fault for all we know) and he slammed his backpack on my car and came at me angrily, angry enough to hang on to my car without letting go, I may have panicked a little too and perhaps be afraid for my life. Anyone angry enough to hang on to my car could be someone angry enough to cause me harm especially in a car with no top. I may not have reacted like Michael Bryant but I would have panicked and been scared for my life. Darcy Sheppard had the option to let go earlier on but he didn't, suggesting a kind of rage and determination. He didn't behave rationally so I don't know if I would.

    • Uhm, yeah. The pavement is moving pretty quick at 90kph and most people would decide to hang on for as long as they could regardless of the initial reason for being on the vehicle.

      It sounds like driver was nice enough to try and slow down by hitting a mailbox with his passenger.

      Fortunately, there were many witnesses so the truth of this one will likely come out. At this point it's not looking so good for the former AG.

  13. Again, maybe — maybe not. We should wait for the evidence.

    A perfectly feasible alternative to your interpretation is that the cyclist, who may have thrown his backpack at the car/driver and was on the driver's side, had ahold of the steering wheel and/or Mr. Bryant. That could have thrown the car into the oncoming lane.

    Bryant could have hit the brakes, but that might be tough with a person pulling on the wheel and/or your head. Or maybe Bryant really did try to knock him off deliberately. Or both thought the other was trying to cause harm.

    Both of them could have cooled their jets. Maybe commenters here should, too.

    We simply don't know. Please stop asserting that you or anyone else not privy to the investigation do.

  14. It looks an awful lot like the cyclist attacked the motorist, and the motorist freaked out and tried to get the cyclist off him. The motorist was in a convertible; a witness says that the cyclist not only smacked the hood with his pack, but also tried to strangle the motorist; the cyclist's girlfriend had to call the police earlier in the evening because of the cyclist's drunk and aggressive behavior.

    I biked in Toronto for years and was even a bicycle courier, and I don't see much in this story that's typical of the problems faced by bicyclists in Toronto. This seems more a case of one guy attacking another guy and tragedy ensuing.

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