Nightmare on Bloor Street - Macleans.ca
 

Nightmare on Bloor Street

New details emerge in deadly collision involving former attorney general


 

New details about what transpired two nights ago in Toronto when former Ontario attorney general Michael Bryant collided in his convertible with bicyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard make the tragedy even stranger and more stunning. Police say that after their “minor collision” on Bloor St. West, Sheppard slammed his backpack onto the hood of Bryant’s black Saab. They argued, Bryant drove off, but not before Sheppard attached himself to the front driver’s side of the car. Bryant allegedly sped down the road in the wrong lane, causing Sheppard to hit a tree and mailbox before he fell off and was run over by the rear wheels. He died that night; Bryant’s been charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death. Now, there are reports that Sheppard was drunk, and had a run-in with police less than an hour before the fatal accident. They were called to the apartment of his girlfriend after she refused to let him in. Another woman who lived there told police Sheppard was too intoxicated to bike home, but she says they insisted he leave. There are also reports that the woman who was in the car with Bryant was his wife, Susan Abramovitch. They had been out for dinner to celebrate their 12th anniversary. Police say Bryant hadn’t been drinking.

Toronto Star


 
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Nightmare on Bloor Street

  1. This was a really unfortunate death, but I think the cyclist is at least 40% responsible. He was apparently drunk, so when there was a minor collision with Bryant's car (fault is undetermined at this time), he went off on Bryant. With his car top down, Bryant was feeling understandably vulnerable. This is where Bryant's actions become unreasonable. After driving away with the guy hanging on, he should have hit the brakes. Attempting to "scrape" the guy off was unbelieveably stupid. He wasn't driving in downtown Detroit. He was in Toronto where there were dozens of witnesses. If it were the former, I'd do the same thing. But since it was the latter, if he were not able to escape after stopping and was engaged in a confrontation with the guy, then there would have been a dozen people there to intervene. I don't care for Bryant after the pitbull ban, but this wasn't solely his fault. He made a dumb mistake, caught up in the moment, and potentially fear, but his career should not be over.

    • yeah i can't say i completely disagree. it seems to me that this is a series of incredibly bad decisions and unreasonable actions (based on the story as reported to now, seemingly including the cops for making the guy bike home drunk as opposed to putting his bike in the drunk and driving him over)…sad.

    • I totally agree. What has happened was a mistake on both their parts for wich both paid in their own ways. This should not be a death sentence for Mr. Bryant's career.

      Habib

    • It's funny how humans have a natural tendency to defend authority figures. I'm not sure why that is. No one and I mean _no one_ would make this comment if the person driving the convertible was, say, an insurance adjuster or a mailwoman.

      I saw the same thing recently in terms of the NDP convention. Dana Larsen, a fairly popular marijuana activist within the party, was clearly banned from the convention because the party wants to distance itself from pot activists to gather more mainstream votes. The official reason given was that Larsen was paying for delegates favourable to his cause to attend the convention even though sub-groups within the NDP do this all the time. Yet, countless NDP bloggers defended the party's decision even though it goes against the party's grassroots spirit.

      Obedience to authority, a terrible flaw of human nature.

      • Oh give me a break!! This has absolutely nothing to do with who Bryant was or is ….get over yourself!

      • I am educated and highly intelligent, I don't need you telling me why I think the way I do. I have read almost a dozen articles outling the known details and I have formulated my opinion based on that information. I don't care who he is, it had nothing to do with my opinion. Not to mention, I quite dislike Bryant and I'd be happy to blame him 100% if I thought it was justified. You are entitled to your opinion but you are not entitled to tell me my opinion. Either add something meaningful to the discussion or don't bother.

      • I am educated and highly intelligent, I don't need you telling me why I think the way I do. I have read almost a dozen articles stating the known details and I have formulated my opinion based on that information. I don't care who he is, it had nothing to do with my opinion. Not to mention, I quite dislike Bryant and I'd be happy to blame him 100% if I thought it was justified. You are entitled to your opinion but you are not entitled to tell me my opinion. Either add something meaningful to the discussion or don't bother.

  2. Nothing that Sheppard did warranted him being driven into a tree or a mailbox. Scratches on your luxury convertible are not worth a human life. Whatever Sheppard's failings were, Bryant has some serious explaining to do.

  3. Ok – a cyclist clings to your car as you drive away – sure. You slam the cyclists into a tree, and then a mail box, and then a fire hydrant… why didn't Bryant stop when he drove the cyclist into the tree? Why did Bryant keep driving, slamming him into a mail box… keeps driving, slams him into a fire hydrant… keeps driving, then rolls over his body… doesn't stop to check if he's alright… he just keeps driving! If that doesn't say "malicious intent" I don't know what does!

  4. They should euthanize him!! Like was the fate of so many defenseless pitbulls.

    • Only good pitbull is a dead pitbull

  5. Ladies and gentlemen of the above jury, howzabout awaiting the actual trial, where actual litigators present and refute actual evidence before an actual judge and possibly an actual jury?

    Just thought I'd throw it out there.

  6. I find it interesting that the police are volunteering an explanation of the events so early in the investigation. After all, only one party lived to tell their versions of the story. Usually the police will be very quiet about details if they want to get a conviction. It's almost as if they're trying to soften public opinion of Bryant to pave the way for his eventual acquittal.

  7. When you drive a motor vehicle, you regularly encounter more life-threatening situations than having an altercation with a 'crazy'/drunk, pissed-off bicyclist. And yet, you're expected to maintain your cool and follow the rules of the road, and the law of the land, and not actively try to kill someone with your car, no matter how much they may piss you off or scare you.

    It's one thing if Darcy Allan Sheppard had a gun or a knife or something, but I suspect he did not, so I don't see how a reasonable person would get it into their head to suddenly drive off with a cyclist attached to their car, and speed into the wrong lane, and manage to get the cyclist smashed into as many obstacles as possible until he falls off and get runs over. And it's not like Michael Bryant didn't notice the guy was there.

    Aside from which, Michael Bryant is a lawyer, he should know better than to speed away from the scene of an accident. He may have panicked because he was scared, either because he knew he was in the wrong or because a 'crazy' and drunk cyclist was mad at him, but that doesn't make what he did okay. He should have stopped to call the police, or ask bystanders for help, or something other than what he actually did. Regardless of the wrongness of the cyclist's actions, short of a reasonable anticipation of immediate personal harm against his person, he had no right and no reason to drive recklessly like that. He could easily have gotten more than just one person killed due to his actions.