toronto snow ankle

74-year-old Toronto man breaks ankle while trying to cross uncleared snow bank

A 74-year-old Toronto man will have to spend weeks off his feet after breaking his ankle while trying to scale an icy and uncleared snow bank near his home on Sunday morning.

In what was supposed to be an uneventful weekend stroll with his dog, Alvin Rebick is now on the mend from what his daughter, Kael Rebick, says was a completely "avoidable" situation.

Two full days had passed since Toronto was buried in snow during Friday evening's thundersnow blizzard, blanketing the city in an icy mess, when Mr. Rebick went for his usual morning walk.

Finding a very icy scene near his Spadina and St. Clair apartment, he attempted to cross the sidewalk by traversing a large snow bank, iced to the side of the road - with no other viable option.

toronto man snow ankleAs soon as he put his foot on top of the bank and lifted his weight, his daughter Kael said he lost his footing and "immediately knew something was wrong."

His ankle snapped, and he was basically stranded on the roadside, unable to get up or call for help; he didn't have his phone on him.

While Mr. Rebick lay on his bank on the cold weekend morning, fellow neighbours, Kael, and her mother were alerted to the situation and came to his rescue.

She says the only logical way to help her father was to call emergency services and have an ambulance pick him up and take him to the hospital.

toronto snow ankle

Well, that didn't go as planned.

"Even the ambulance got stuck when they turned on our street," said Kael, adding that she watched the ambulance's wheels spin out and calling the entire ordeal extremely frustrating.

Finally, the ambulance did reach Mr. Rebick, while neighbours helped paramedics traverse the snow bank and get the elderly man onto a stretcher.

"It definitely wasn't a timely thing and it's not [emergency services’] fault," adding that if her father had a more serious accident like a heart attack or stroke, time is of the essence and he could potentially face further compilations.

Now with an estimated time of 6-8 weeks off his feet, Mr. Rebick and his daughter say this situation could have been completely avoided.

His health moving forward is uncertain, taking into account his age, Mr. Rebick might have bone or ankle problems for the rest of his life, according to Kael.

Speaking with Kael, you can hear the frustrations in her voice, disappointed in how such a simple task of clearing roadways is left unchecked.

"This isn't the first time Toronto has snow storms and we knew this [storm] was coming for days."

Now the Rebick family is toying with the idea of legal resources, pursuing their options at this time.

As for the city, they wish Mr. Rebeck a speedy recovery, telling blogTO, "The City is aware of reports of a resident who, according to his family, fell while attempting to cross a windrow."

"We wish this resident a speedy and full recovery. The safety of residents is our top priority and we take all incidents very seriously."

Days after the storm, the city says they are still working to remove leftover remnants.

"City crews are clearing all of the city's 7,400 km of sidewalks of snow as quickly and as efficiently as possible. The significant amount of snowfall does take time to clear and crews continue to work to clear sidewalks."

"This evening, the City is starting snow removal operations to remove snow from designated public right-of-way locations where snow storage capacity has been exceeded. Removing snow from these areas is complex and time-consuming but will greatly improve the safety and accessibility of these areas."

The city encourages residents "to report any uncleared sidewalks to 311 so that City crews can address issues in a timely manner. Residents are also reminded to use caution as conditions can be both icy and slippery."

Lead photo by

Kael Rebick


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