February 25, 2016 5:21 pm
Updated: February 26, 2016 11:18 am

Cyclist killed by heavy object on Vancouver’s Seawall remembered

WATCH: Friends and family gathered at Creekside Park near Science World today to honour Juan Loro Avis, who died in a bizarre accident in January.

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The friends and family of Juan Loro Avis released dozens of balloons into the air in his memory on Vancouver’s Seawall this morning, not far from where the 45-year-old man died in a freak accident last month.

Avis was riding his bike on the Seawall near Science World on Jan. 6 when he was knocked unconscious by a heavy object thrown away by an unknown man from a nearby portable garbage bin.

Witnesses say the man was dumpster diving in the bin and tossing items out of it at the time.

The object allegedly caused Avis to fall face first onto the pavement. He was rushed to hospital in grave condition with severe head injuries. He was pronounced dead the next morning without regaining consciousness.

Police say there was no prior interaction between Avis and the man, and no indication that the hit was intentional.

The man is described as Aboriginal, 30 to 40-years-old, six feet tall with a medium build and shoulder-length black hair. He was wearing a black puffy jacket and dark jeans.

Vancouver police are still looking to identify the man and hope a composite sketch will help jog someone’s memory.

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“I can’t think of an incident like this happening in Vancouver,” said VPD spokesperson Brian Montague in the days following the accident. “I could not imagine what the odds are, but I would think they are incredibly small.”

Avis had lived in Vancouver for 10 years after moving to Canada from Spain. He would have turned 46 years old the day after his death.

Ron Allen was Avis’s English instructor at the Immigrant Services Society of BC.

He says Avis was very well loved in the community.

“It is very tragic,” says Allen. “It could be any one of us. One second before, one second after, he probably would still be alive. But he is gone, so we are celebrating his life and taking his memories with us for the rest of our lives.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the VPD Major Crime Section at 604-717-2500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

WATCH: Vancouver police are investigating a freak accident that left a cyclist dead. As John Daly reports, investigators want to speak with a man who was digging through a dumpster along the Seawall.

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