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Cyclist dies after being hit on head by roof truss on transport

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Cyclist dies after being hit on head by roof truss on transport

Old 07-20-09, 01:10 PM
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Cyclist dies after being hit on head by roof truss on transport

https://www.nugget.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1657210

"ORILLIA A few weeks ago, Casey Witteman said he planned to never bike along Highway 11 again. On Friday, while cycling along the stretch of highway near Bond Road, the 59-year-old was struck in the head by a roof truss being transported on a semi trailer. He succumbed to his injuries two days later.

"Only three weeks ago he said he wouldn't go down Highway 11 anymore -- that it was too dangerous," long-time friend Gene Wood told The Packet through sobs yesterday.

Both the tractor-trailer that hit him and Witteman were northbound at the time. The wide load was marked with orange cloth.

Witteman died Sunday at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Orillia OPP Const. Chris Meyer told the Orillia Packet & Times.

Charges have not yet been laid and the investigation is ongoing, said OPP Const. Shannon McLeaming.

"The investigation hasn't completely closed," she said. "That's all the information I have."

Witteman's five siblings have been mourning at his home since the death, said his brother, John.

"It's just terrible," he said.

Witnesses say Witteman was wearing a helmet at the time of the incident and that he "collapsed pretty much instantly."

"He never regained consciousness after the accident," John said. "He had no brain function left, he remained alive on machines. They did an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) on him and there was no hope whatsoever."

Witteman was on his way to St. Francis of Assisi Church in Washago when the incident occurred, John said.

"He was going there to clean it. He cleaned the church for many, many years," John said. "He certainly devoted himself a lot to his religion."

Wood said the Catholic church meant everything to Witteman.

"His church was his whole life," she said. "He used to come to the church three or four times a week, making sure it was ready for Sunday worship."

Witteman never married and cared for his parents until they passed away.

"His parents had very strong Catholic beliefs," Wood said. "It met his needs."

Wood doesn't know why Witteman went back on his plan to not ride along the highway from his South Sparrow Lake Road that day.

"I don't know why he went up Friday on (Highway) 11. Especially Friday -- Friday is a busy day on the highway," she said.

"But, he can't drive a car, you don't have any choice, but bike."

Cycling was not Witteman's primary mode of transportation by choice and Friday's vehicle versus bicycle incident was not his first.

"He came home for the summer from his second year of (McMaster) University and was (biking) from Port Stanton up 12th Line and somebody hit him," Wood said. "Casey said he was hit head-on in a hit and run."

Circumstances surrounding the incident cannot be verified since Witteman, who was in his 20s at the time, suffered brain damage.

It was shortly after this incident that Wood met Witteman.

"When I first met Casey, they said he wouldn't live, then they said he'd never walk," she said. "I arranged table tennis to improve his co-ordination, so we had a lot of young people meeting at the (YMCA) to play table tennis with Casey."

Although this incident would not take Witteman's life, it changed him forever.

He suffered short-term memory loss for the rest of his life, putting an end to a potential career, John said.

"He was studying to be a mathematician," John said. "After the accident, he suffered brain damage. He came back and lived on the home farm."

Witteman spent his days attending church, beekeeping, harvesting maple syrup, cutting wood, doing crafts and listening to music.

"He took up needlepoint to improve his eyes. He did a lot of puzzles, he had to relearn how to read and write," John said. "He lived his life to the best of his ability following the first accident."

Witteman dedicated many hours tending to his 33 acres of land, Wood said, recalling the time they spent together on the land.

"He maintained that place like a park," she said. "Casey has such a green thumb. He has huge flower beds, beautiful flowers."

Witteman was the middle child in a family of six children. While together at Sunnybrook, the siblings decided to donate Witteman's organs, John said.

"They took his lungs, heart, pancreas, kidneys, liver and corneas," he said.

Trillium Gift of Life Network, which cares for the organs until a donor is found, said, "all his organs were in excellent condition," John said.

"So you can always look at it that he lives on and there was good that came of his death," John said. "It was good that we could do that."

Wood said Witteman's death is a loss to everyone.

"He was just a lovely person," she said. "I shall miss him."

The family is holding a mass at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Washago today at 2 p. m.

A cremation will occur following the mass and Witteman will be laid to rest beside his parents."

This is just too sad for words. I've been looking for any updates to this story on the web, and haven't found any. I can't belive that no charges have been laid, and don't seem likely. The driver of the truck should have been charged with making an unsafe pass, and/or dangerous driving causing death.
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Old 07-20-09, 05:19 PM
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I do not ride my bike on Fridays. I don't know about other places, but around here (Beaverton, Oregon which is near Protland) people who drive get a bit crazy on Fridays. Just over 5 years ago, I was involved in a traffic accident, my second on a Friday. Since then, I simply do not ride on Friday. If someone is going to hit me, it will not be on a Friday.

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Old 07-20-09, 05:24 PM
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Charges have not yet been laid
And who the fluck are they kidding?
They won't be.
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Old 07-20-09, 05:35 PM
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We've all seen people driving around with lumber and yard tools sticking out the window, bed, trailer or roof racks. You definitely won't catch all of those in a mirror.
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Old 07-20-09, 06:06 PM
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I'll bet the negligent motorist gets off pretty much free after this "accident." Part of driving any wide vehicle is knowing where the rightmost edge of your vehicle or load is. Motorists need to hear about these incidents, so that they understand why we sometimes find it necessary to claim the lane for our own safety.
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Old 07-20-09, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bkrownd View Post
We've all seen people driving around with lumber and yard tools sticking out the window, bed, trailer or roof racks. You definitely won't catch all of those in a mirror.
Two weeks ago I basically blocked the road when I saw a school bus overtaking me with the yellow "kid control barrier" bent so it was hanging about six feet out to the right of the bus. The driver was indigent that I stopped her, she thought I was over-reacting or something.

This is the third bus with this type of hazardous damage I've had pass me in the last year. I had a somewhat-near-miss last winter with a bent school bus arm that eventually broke off on a roadside utility pole once the bus had passed me.
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Old 07-20-09, 06:37 PM
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About 25 years ago I almost got hit in the head in the San Juan Islands by a load of long 2x4s stacked diagonally in a P/U truck bed so that they were angled up and out of the truck bed on the right rear side. My riding partner and I had just pulled off the road for a rest break, if we had still been riding, we would have been hit for sure, they were exactly at head height.
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Old 07-20-09, 06:41 PM
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We do not know if driver was negligent.
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Old 07-20-09, 07:00 PM
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yep, the cyclist might have swerved into his load
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Old 07-20-09, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by randya View Post
yep, the cyclist might have swerved into his load
wonder if "three feet" would have helped...
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Old 07-20-09, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
We do not know if driver was negligent.
This is AnS territory, it's automatically assumed.
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Old 07-21-09, 12:02 AM
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It doesn't say squat about the accident. We can assume that it happened as the truck passed him, but even that is uncertain. He may have run into it. The article is so vague as to make possibilities potential.
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Old 07-21-09, 07:55 AM
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You know those roach coaches that sell greasy food at constructions sites? I once had one of them pass me with its side flap open, with the flap passing directly overhead. That was unnerving.
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Old 07-21-09, 08:03 AM
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sad stuff..
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Old 07-21-09, 09:26 AM
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Don't wide-loads require escort vehicles?
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Old 07-21-09, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
You know those roach coaches that sell greasy food at constructions sites? I once had one of them pass me with its side flap open, with the flap passing directly overhead. That was unnerving.
Free choke-and-puke foodstuffs if you can keep it at 400w

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Old 07-21-09, 11:52 AM
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Wide load or not ... they still have to safely overtake if they are going to overtake.
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Old 07-21-09, 03:18 PM
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I have seen push lawnmower handles hanging out from the right side of someone's trunk. Where's a cop when you need one?
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Old 07-21-09, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Lake_Tom View Post
I have seen push lawnmower handles hanging out from the right side of someone's trunk. Where's a cop when you need one?
<humor>
Correction: Free lawnmower.
</humor>

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Old 07-30-09, 10:30 PM
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I was touring on that same road three Fridays ago (yes, on a Friday afternoon)! I can testify that it is one of the most dangerous rural highways I've ever ridden on. It's an extremely busy two lane highway with an 80km/h limit and no shoulder. It is very difficult for a wide vehicle to pass a cyclist safely. I was subjected to numerous dangerous passes during the afternoon I was there.
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Old 07-31-09, 02:30 PM
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The section of the road in question (at Bond Rd, near Washago) is a divided controlled access highway with a speed limit of 100km/h. It is also one of the busiest stretches of road in Canada, especially during the summer months.

I haven't been up there for a while, but I'd be very surprised if bicycles or pedestrians are allowed on that section of road.

I'm not even trying to hint that the victim was in any way at fault. I'm just suggesting that if you're touring through that part of the country, don't be fooled by maps that show this as a regular road. That's a very busy freeway.
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Old 07-31-09, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Lake_Tom View Post
I have seen push lawnmower handles hanging out from the right side of someone's trunk. Where's a cop when you need one?
He's checking to make sure all the cyclists come to a complete three-point stop at the stop signs.
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Old 07-22-10, 07:06 AM
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Truck drivers are so dangerous. They just dont seem to care.
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Old 07-22-10, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by 68venable View Post
Truck drivers are so dangerous. They just dont seem to care.
Nice try, troll-boy. We all know that you drive a truck, and we also know that you illegally use your cellphone while driving, because you've said so elsewhere on this forum.

However, it has been my experience that not all truck drivers are as incompetent as you have described yourself as being.
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Old 07-22-10, 12:48 PM
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just sarcasm. I happened upon this old post about a truck driver. Ive actually been trying to count how many truck driver vs car drivers buzz me. Its actually pretty close but I think is leaning towards trucks lol after all I tried to defend it. I do use my cell phone while driving, but only legally?
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