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Tragic end to cross-Canada dream St. Bruno resident, Ex-Montrealer killed. Two other cyclists on epic charity ride seriously hurt when hit by car in Manitoba

JASON MAGDER
The Gazette

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

In the end it was a freak car accident, not his disease, that stopped Daniel Hurtubise from fulfilling a lifelong dream to cycle across Canada.

The 50-year-old St. Bruno resident was killed Sunday along with Robert Carrier, a 45-year-old Montreal native living in Kelowna, B.C. They were cycling across Canada to raise money to fund research into Type 1 diabetes, a disease Hurtubise had since he was 15.

A passing Honda Civic sideswiped Hurtubise and three other cyclists. Hurtubise's daughter Sonia, 16, and son Alex, 19, were seriously injured. The accident happened near Virden, Man., about 290 kilometres west of Winnipeg. No charges have been laid against the 27-year-old driver, a Virden resident. Police are still investigating the cause of the accident.

Carrier was the retired CEO of a software company. He joined Hurtubise's journey because he also dreamed of cycling across Canada.

Hurtubise wanted to be the first person with the disease to make the cross-country journey and his goal was to raise $500,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in the process.

He had raised $15,881, with $10,000 of that coming from Carrier.

Dubbed "Ride of a Lifetime," the group set out from Vancouver on June 14.

Hurtubise kept a blog of his trip on the Reader's Digest website. In his last entry on Saturday, Hurtubise reflected on his accomplishments.

"The sun is shining. It's a beautiful day," he wrote. "Each cyclist is looking at their odometer and cannot believe that we have covered 2,000 kilometres since the launch in Vancouver."

Hurtubise's blog has now been turned into a condolence book, which had 40 entries as of yesterday.

"Although I never knew the victims of this accident,

I feel as though I have lost someone dear to me," wrote Alice Tingley. "Please take some solace in knowing that your loved ones died doing something very noble."

Hurtubise's family members said they were touched by all the support people have shown.

"It was a big dream of his to go across Canada, kind of following Terry Fox's way," his mother-in- law, Gisèle Olivier, said yesterday.

The family has asked people to keep Hurtubise's dream alive by making a contribution to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

"The ride of a lifetime was not only a fundraising event, it was his biggest dream and a gift to himself," Hurtubise's family said in a statement issued yesterday by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. "He passed away as a happy man surrounded by his children and passionate up to the last moment."

Alex was released from a hospital in Brandon, while Sonia was still getting treatment for a fractured tibia that has become infected. She is expected to be released tomorrow. Their mother, Michelle Olivier, flew to Manitoba to be with her children on Sunday. The family is waiting for Sonia's release from hospital before returning home.

"Alex is mobile now, but he's traumatically upset and he won't talk too much about the accident because obviously he saw the whole thing happen," Gisèle Olivier said.

The Ride of a Lifetime blog is www.readersdigest.ca/blog/

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2008
 

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That is so tragic.

As a mountain biker, when I drive by some roadies(on highways) I give them the whole lane, passing in the oncoming lane. However, I myself could never ride on a highway(2 lane), riding with the traffic. I've ridden enough in the city with cars passing at 50-60 and begrudging my presence on "their" road. Which I won't ride anymore unless there is a designated bike lane, for one reason and one reason only, all it takes is one person in a 3,000lb vechile to change your life forever and I don't feel like handing that responsibility off to the society which we live in. That driver should be charged, there should be repercussions for the driver, life changing. Just like that families life was changed.
 

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yes, I'm sure the driver of that car will just shrug off killing two people and be on his merry way... I dont know enough about the accident to know to what extent it was the driver's fault in this case, but I do know that I hear this story too often. I also am hesitant every time i decide to ride on a highway with my bike, but i do think its beneficial to do so because the more often people encounter bikers on the road, the more they expect them and (hopefully) the more consideration they give them. I dont think most people enjoy injuring or killing bikers, they are just naive, unexperienced, and sometimes irresponsible.
 

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pretty naive

I don't know what world your living in(fantasy land???) but some kid the other day in my city got hit by a car and dragged for at least 30 secs, he's in critical condition in a medical induced coma last I heard. His friend followed the car only to have the driver and passenger get out and beat him up. THEY DIDN'T GO ON THEIR MERRY WAY, THEY MADE AN ACTIVE EFFORT TO GETAWAY WITH IT. Now sure not everyone is the same but is it really worth the risk :confused: . I think the problem is society's lack of morals and ethics. It's really peachy to see things optimistically but I'd try reality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Manitoba to Pave Shoulders.

Following the deaths of two cyclists on a fund-raising trek across Canada last week, the Manitoba government says it plans to pave every kilometre of the Trans-Canada Highway shoulder between Saskatchewan and Ontario.

Doug McMahon, executive director of Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation, said 68 per cent of the Trans-Canada's shoulder in the province is already fully or partially paved.

But McMahon said the tragic accident in which a car struck and killed two cyclists near Virden, Man., on Sunday has made completing the shoulders a top priority.

The province does not have a timeline for the project, and McMahon said it isn't as simple as sending out construction crews to take the asphalt three metres from the painted line at the edge of the lane.

"It's problematic just doing

the shoulders," he said. "You could be doing it adjacent to 30-year-old pavement. It's always nicer to do the shoulder paving as part of a major capital upgrade. It's easier to accomplish, you're getting a better paving product out of it and you get a better ride."

Four cyclists were hit on Sunday by a 27-year-old man driving an eastbound Honda Civic on the Trans-Canada Highway.

Robert Carrier, 45, of Glenmore, B. C., and Daniel Hurtubise, 50, of St.-Bruno-de-Montarville, Que., were killed.

The cyclists were taking part in a coast-to-coast ride for charity. A safety vehicle was not following them.

Stephen Stanley, a manager at a store in Brandon, Man., that specializing in cycling, said there are only about 100 kilometres of "worry-free" paved shoulders on the Trans-Canada from the Manitoba-Saskatchewan boundary to Winnipeg.

Stanley said a number of cyclists have been hit by motorists who thought they were giving a wide enough berth, but weren't.

"One woman was hit by a side-view mirror and ended up in the ditch with a broken heel and broken shoulder," he said.

Larry Maguire, the Tory critic for transportation and highways, said Premier Gary Doer's government needs to do more than react to disasters on the Trans-Canada.

"It doesn't have a long-term plan on how to fix these roads," he said.

Copyright © 2008 The Sault Star
 
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