Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Taxis = The Enemy? In Toronto...

Everyone, please try to be nice to each other out there, all right? This is just too harsh. 

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Taxi Driver Severs Cyclists' Leg in Violent Hit-and-Run
by Lloyd Alter, Toronto on 11.17.08

Last night in Toronto, a cyclist had a loud argument with a cab driver and the next thing residents heard was a sickening crunch and a man screaming for help- the cabbie rammed the cyclist against a pole and severed his leg. Doctors couldn't fix it and the leg was amputated.

The cabbie took off and then three hours later called police and said he was defending himself against a robbery attempt

Constable Burrows: "We're trying to determine the sequence of events and how this escalated from the sound of voices to what we have right now, a male in hospital with fairly significant injuries fighting for his life".


tiny said...

C'mon Jussi... tell me you're not going to go jumping to conclusions based on that paltry story that made little to no attempt to remain neutral?

"Treehugger" = has an agenda to push. Perhaps I largely agree with their agenda, but they have an agenda and its important to keep that in mind when critically reading their little "article."

I'm not saying what happened to the cyclist was ok, but I'd like to see more information before feeling like I have a grasp of what what led up to "accident" (if it was an accident).

In the interest of full disclosure: Bike Messenger (93-98); Cab Driver (01-03). I'm not saying I don't have a perspective.

Anonymous said...

Im going to defend Jussi and say, although this link is to treehunger, it is taken for a local news site (http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_29149.aspx)
and this is a digg.com top article. Your right, there's a perspective add to this website, but the event is what matters. And Taxi's are known to not like bike messengers (ie NEW YORK)

Jussi said...

Well, someone sent me the news link and I must say I was really horrified by it.

Treehugger is obviously Treehugger and I wasn't really feeling the way the news was written either but if the result of whatever -really- happened is that the guy lost his leg, it was just too much.

People need to chill.

Hza said...

Folks, i'm from Toronto and we've been talking about this on our MBs/Blogs and it's been crazy... No real word from the cyclist yet but here are some deets that we've chatted about :

There was no robbery attempt (is the assumption as the story has changed a few times now). How do you rob a cabbie on a bike?? Why would there be any vociferous shouting then back and forth?? Gimme your money! No I won't! I said Gimme your money! No ! As if.... Why did he not look for help?? Cabbies are told to flash an orange beacon they've been equipped with for emergencies...

Why did this guy wait 3 hrs to call police about the supposed robbery? He had to piece the faux facts in his head. Knowing the cyclist was likely injured, and after seeing the damage to the car, there was going to be:

1. cyclist @ hospital @ some point who would deliver an acct of the story to police (likely).
2. the damage was going to have to be reported to the auto insurer and they usually ask for an official report of some sort esp from police (there's a collision center for that).
3. this was a leased cab from another driver so someone else is by default involved - so there might have been contact to the actual owner of the cab
4. there might be and probably was some blood on the cab so he had to wash it.

I too like to hear all sides, but I also live here and live day to day with these cabs. I have had my share of incidents with these cabbies on my scooter let alone my fix. They're very negligent and go about their biz like they're invincible.

Not sure how this cabbie can try to talk his way out of this one, as backing into someone is kind odd in claiming defense and this guys was on a bike??

Well... the truth will come out.


He lost his leg. It was amputated as it could not be saved. All over an argument... I personally think that it's a matter of time before the charges come down... so sad.

Sorry about the long post. Just that this disgusts/saddens me.


Anonymous said...

I too like Hza live in Toronto. I've had numerous incidents with cabbies. They have no regard for anyone let alone bicycle riders. This has just gone too far and these drivers have to be held accountable. The cab drivers story doesn't make sense. He said that he was injured also and the injury was a scratch on the right side of his face. I understand with the job they have that they must deal with a lot of crap but once you use your vehicle as a weapon, there's something wrong. Like Hza said, whoever started the arguement there is no reason to use your car to hit a guy on a bike. Its un-excusable. I hope they throw the book at the driver and he loses his license forever. What if an innocent by stander got hit instead, because of the drivers stupidity. This just makes my blood boil.

tiny said...

I don't believe I ever suggested any opinion about the cabbie's alibi and whether it holds water...

Nor do I think the cabbie's crappy alibi is a material issue... you're passing judgment based on a shoddy news story and the fact that you're already pissed at cab drivers (or motorists in general).

Personally I don't buy the robbery story, and off hand it sounds like the guy should have his license suspended (I would go so far as to say that should happen even if there were a robbery attempt)... but that doesn't mean I feel I know what exactly happened and whether the cyclist was (or was not) contributorily negligent.

"I want to hold someone responsible" for all of the cyclist-motorist problems is not, in my opinion, a good approach.

In the end, the one thing I'm fairly sure of is that none of us have any idea why the cabbie waited 3 hours to turn himself in.

There were other articles on the incident available on the web, ones without a prejudicial tone. For that matter Digg does not a reliable article make, it means all of the activists on the web who wanted to get their story out there kicked-it up the list.