Mere hours after a dead cyclist was found in a ditch on a rural Ontario road, police arrested a man they believe struck the cyclist and sped off without contacting authorities.
An investigation into the death of 37-year-old Adam Hofstetter of Tillsonburg, Ont., who was found dead in a ditch on Hawkins Road at about 11:30 Thursday night, led police to the residence of an Aylmer, Ont. man they arrested at around 1:30 a.m. Friday.
It's not known how long Mr. Hofstetter, a prominent real-estate agent in the area, was in the ditch before a passerby came upon his body, said Constable Michelle Murphy of Oxford County OPP.
There were no witnesses to the crash on the dark country road just minutes out of Tillsonburg. However, the bicycle was properly equipped with a light and reflectors, she said.
The father of two boys worked as a branch manager for Century 21 in Tillsonburg. His friend and business partner Chris DeClark said Mr. Hofstetter was a dedicated worker who often arrived at the office at 5:30 or 6 a.m. and would be spotted nailing for-sale signs into lawns that early in the day. He would also take calls from clients who did shift work and often couldn't get on the phone until 11 p.m.
"He [would be]trying to work all day to provide for his family and then when he got home from work, 6 to 7 at night sometimes, he'd want to soak up every moment with them," he said.
Lately, he'd been heading out on his bike after his boys went to bed, trying to squeeze in exercise he didn't have time for during daylight hours.
"He was looking to get in shape for the summertime, Mr. DeClark said.
And then, at about 5:45 a.m. Friday, he got the call from Mr. Hofstetter's brother, hearing the bad news.
"You just don't want to believe it. It didn't sink in," Mr. DeClark said. "We share a desk, I was looking at the chair next to me, and he wasn't there."
On Thursday, Mr. Hofstetter had told his partner to take the weekend off, that he would take care of a few open houses that were scheduled for Sunday.
"He was hoping to take some time off, but he just wouldn't do it."
Henry Grevers said he jumped at the chance to hire Mr. Hofstetter when he decided to make the move to Tillsonburg from Woodstock, where his family is from, a few years ago.
The president of Century 21 Heritage House Limited knew his family and said Mr. Hofstetter was well-respected in the community.
"He was not only a friend, but he was a solid producer, very fair."
Police have charged 51-year-old Robert Stanton with one count of failing to remain at the scene of an accident causing death.
Mr. Hofstetter's death is one of many tragic cycling deaths that have hit the nation in recent months.
On Monday, a 16-year-old cyclist was killed in Ottawa in a collision with a motorcycle.
The collision sent the two motorcycle riders to hospital.
Last Saturday, a 57-year-old man died after being hit by a car near Val-Morin, Que.
And last Friday, three cyclists were killed and three others injured near Montreal when a pick-up truck plowed into them as they made their way to a triathlon training session.
With a report from The Canadian Press
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