Family speaks out after grandmother fatally struck while riding bike in downtown Toronto
The only child of the 58-year-old cyclist killed on Bloor Street on Tuesday says his mother, Dalia Chako, died doing what she loved.
“She loved biking. She biked everywhere. She was a casual cyclist but she used it in a very functional way. If I know her she was probably biking to the store, “ said Chako’s son Skylor Brummans.
Brummans confirmed to Global News over the phone from Minnesota that Chako was the woman who was struck by a flat-bed truck while riding her bike on Bloor and George streets around noon.
Brummans said Chako was a dual Canadian-US citizen who was born in Windsor but spent most of her life living in New York City and Miami.
He said Chako moved to Toronto about two years ago and lived not far from where she was fatally struck while riding her bicycle.
The son said he learned of his mother’s death on Tuesday after his father, Chako‘s ex-husband, got a call from police.
“My dad said, essentially, ‘your mother was in an accident and she was hit by a truck while she was on a bicycle.’ The police gave my dad the contact information to call the police in Toronto.”
Brummans said his mother was retired but had previously owned an art gallery in New York City and also used to teach piano.
Chako became a grandmother 10 months ago when Brummans had a little girl and he said he is grateful she got to meet her granddaughter before she was killed.
Brummans said he is concerned about the safety of cyclists in Toronto and elsewhere.
“We have to share the roads. Accidents happen and I don’t think we can 100 per cent avoid them, but I do think if you’re operating a vehicle, … It’s not my objective here to point fingers. Mistakes happen. Under no circumstances do I think this person was acting maliciously — I haven’t heard anything to believe that, and until I do, my goal isn’t to criminalize somebody. It’s very tragic,” he said.
Brummans said he is grateful to the group called Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists for their support since his mother’s death and wants to raise awareness about the importance of sharing the road.
He said he plans on coming to Toronto on the weekend and will attend the ghost ride on Sunday night for another cyclist killed, Aaron Rankine-Wright, as well as the ghost ride for his mother.
Police said the 66-year-old driver of the struck struck Chako as he was turning eastbound off St George Street onto Bloor Street.
She was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators said it’s not clear what direction Chako was travelling but there are bike lanes along both roads.
Brummans said he believes his mother was likely in the bike lane at the time of the collision.
“She wouldn’t be someone to bike in traffic,” he said. “When I heard she was hit — she wouldn’t be someone who was in the middle of the lane. She was very safe about it.”
The investigation is ongoing.
Chakos is one of three road fatalities in Toronto since Monday.
WATCH: 2 fatalities on Toronto streets in less than 24 hours. Catherine McDonald reports. (June 12)
On Monday, 50-year-old Isabel Soria was fatally struck only metres from her Dufferin Street home. She was walking to the Service Ontario located inside a plaza across the street.
Early Thursday, a male motorcylist in his 50s was killed in a hit-and-run in east-end Toronto.
Anyone who saw the collision is asked to call Toronto Police Traffic Services at 416-808-1900 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.
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