The victim in a fatal accident involving former Ontario attorney-general Michael Bryant was a 33-year-old bike courier named Darcy Allan Sheppard, The Globe and Mail has learned.
Mr. Sheppard is remembered by friends and co-workers as outgoing and energetic. He was an avid cyclist and had been working as a bike courier for Action Messenger since January.
Mr. Sheppard's friend and co-worker, Brian Harris, said he was in shock. He'd known Mr. Sheppard for 15 years. They'd drifted apart but reconnected, especially after Mr. Harris referred Mr. Sheppard to Action Messenger eight months ago, and they began working together.
"He was a little flabby when I got back in touch with him," Mr. Harris said, with a sad laugh. But the two men shared an addiction to cycling, and before long they were spending their time after work pedalling through the city's parks.
Mr. Sheppard dreamed of becoming a stand-up comedian, but was considering a more modest career as a mechanic.
"He fixed people's cars, like he'd fix the tail lights on the couriers' cars," Mr. Harris said, adding that this was also a self-serving endeavour, as broken tail lights can be a hazard to cyclists.
Ken Brownhill of Action Messenger said that Mr. Sheppard was well-liked among his co-workers and that he'd received e-mails from clients commending Mr. Sheppard's polite and friendly demeanour.
"He was just one of those charismatic and sincere individuals and I think people saw that right away in him," Mr. Brownhill said.
The ordeal began around 9:45 p.m. Monday night, on Bloor Street between Bay Street and Avenue Road, at a traffic light. Police said a cyclist and a man in a convertible got into an "altercation."
Raajiv Rajadurai, 23, said he was in an eastbound vehicle on Bloor Street when he saw a cyclist slam his backpack onto the hood of a convertible and then grab the driver's side mirror as the vehicle sped away.
"The driver was going so fast that at one point the biker was holding on to his car and there were sparks coming from the bottom of his shoes," he said.
"It seemed like the driver was trying to shake him off because he turned really suddenly, put on the brakes, jetted it one last time and then all your hear is three thumps and then the guy falls on the floor."
Mr. Bryant was charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death. He is scheduled to appear in court at Old City Hall, on Monday, Oct. 19, room 111, at 3 p.m.