Toronto cyclist recounts terrifying confrontation with motorist in High Park
Cyclist Marcel Zierfuss claims he was intentionally struck by a motorist in an alleged hit-and-run at High Park on Friday, an incident that has set off a firestorm of comments on social media.
The incident was just one of five separate hit-and-runs recorded in the Greater Toronto Area during the past week. Cyclists were victims in two of the five incidents.
"Sadly, Marcel is just one of [five] hit-and-run incidents involving vulnerable road users (pedestrians and cyclists) struck by dangerous motorists this weekend alone in the GTA," says personal injury lawyer and cycling safety advocate David Shellnutt.
"The result: two people killed and several others injured, including two cyclists."
A cyclist has contacted us after being threatened and then assaulted/involved in a hit and run in #HighPark today. More info to follow. Please be safe cycling community, @JohnTory and the @TorontoPolice have really emboldened hatred and violent behaviour towards us. #BikeTO— The Biking Lawyer (Dave Shellnutt) (@TheBikingLawyer) September 2, 2022
Shellnutt places the blame for the latest hit-and-run squarely on Mayor John Tory and the Toronto Police Service, accusing both of emboldening "hatred and violent behaviour" against cyclists through a recent ticketing blitz.
Last night a motorist screamed anti-cyclist stereotypes & intentionally hit a person on a bike in #HighPark. If a dangerous motorist harasses/threatens you, get off the road & get their license plate. Read our guide to reporting road violence: https://t.co/4hfjVWAS5u pic.twitter.com/24PIl4RjFx— The Biking Lawyer (Dave Shellnutt) (@TheBikingLawyer) September 3, 2022
Shellnutt tells blogTO, "We have been retained to help Marcel with injuries arising from this horrific hit-and-run incident in High Park, an escalation of the anti-cyclist rhetoric stoked by Mayor Tory and Toronto Police."
Hit & Runs have claimed the lives of 2 vulnerable road users this weekend - there were 5 major hit & run incidents in the GTA. We demand #safestreets & accountability from politicians & police in failing to provide them. Cyclist's Guide to Hit & Runs:https://t.co/FCbhXQYVuy pic.twitter.com/RikHhxzrm1— The Biking Lawyer (Dave Shellnutt) (@TheBikingLawyer) September 5, 2022
"As lawyers for cyclists injured in hit-and-run collisions, we know the after-effects can be quite traumatizing beyond the obvious physical injuries."
"Hit-and-run survivors are frequently left with little recourse or justice. They often must access government-mandated insurance benefits, a difficult and adversarial process."
Luckily, the victim in this hit-and-run walked away without serious injuries, though Shellnutt states on Twitter that the individual’s "bike was damaged and they were bloodied."
Shellnutt points out that this is far from an isolated problem, citing incidents including a pedestrian struck and killed, another pedestrian and cyclist struck in a series of hit-and-runs that ended with a dramatic takedown at Jarvis and Queens Quay, and a case of a pedestrian struck at St. Clair and Yonge.
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