Woman killed while cycling under viaduct on St. Denis

MONTREAL – A 33-year-old woman has died after being hit by a flatbed truck on Monday morning.

She was cycling on a Bixi bike on the road under the Des Carrières Viaduct on St. Denis Street, just south of Rosemont Boulevard.

Authorities have confirmed that she was wearing a helmet.

Bixi Montreal told Global News that the tragic accident was the first death in the city that involved one of the company’s bikes.

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Montreal police said that the cyclist was knocked off her bicycle while heading southbound along St. Denis. She was then run over by the same truck.

Police also added that it appears the driver didn’t see the bicycle at all. The driver stopped and exited the truck in the belief that he had hit the overpass, the SPVM said.

The 23-year-old driver is being interviewed by police.

The sidewalk under the viaduct is marked with pole barriers to encourage cyclists to get off their bikes and walk. Yannick Gadbois/Global News
Police confirmed that the cyclist was riding a Bixi bike and was wearing a helmet. Yannick Gadbois/Global News
A 33-year-old woman has died after being hit by a flatbed truck in Montreal on April 28, 2014. Yannick Gadbois/Global News

Cyclists travelling under the CP overpass have the option to ride on the road with traffic or to walk their bike along the sidewalk for pedestrians that runs alongside and just above the road.

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Luc Ferrandez, city councillor and mayor of the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough where the accident took place, is calling on Montreal police to relax the municipal bylaw that prohibits cyclists from riding their bikes on sidewalks. 

The opposition is City Hall is calling on police to be lenient in certain areas when ticketing cyclists.

“Let’s remember it might be too dangerous to be on the street [riding a bicycle],” said Luc Ferrandez, the borough mayor of the Plateau. “But the only legal way is on the street. It’s illegal to be on the sidewalk right now.”

He said he wanted to limit the number of trucks carrying heavy freight through the city at rush hour.

Officials with the city’s executive committee say sufficient measures are in place, and that the rate of accidents has dropped by about 20 per cent since 2008.

But on the street, cyclists say intersections like the one at St. Denis can be risky — the area under the overpass is dark and traffic is squeezed together.

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“If you don’t have lights on your bike it’s dangerous,” said Otman Elmar. “It’s very scary.”

Watch: Raw video from the scene of the accident on Monday morning

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