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Ghost bike installed outside Ottawa City Hall days after fatal hit-and-run

The ghost bike was installed outside Ottawa City Hall across the road from where a cyclist was fatally injured in a hit-and-run on Laurier Avenue.
The ghost bike was installed outside Ottawa City Hall across the road from where a cyclist was fatally injured in a hit-and-run on Laurier Avenue. Catherine McKenney / Twitter

A ghost bike has been installed outside Ottawa City Hall across the road from where a cyclist was fatally injured in a hit-and-run on Laurier Avenue last Thursday morning.

The cyclist suffered critical injuries, including head wounds, in the collision shortly before 7:30 a.m. and died in hospital. Paramedics said he was a man in his 50s, and Ottawa police have since said they won’t release any further information about the victim’s identity.

READ MORE: Cyclist struck and killed on Laurier Avenue

A police spokesperson confirmed Tuesday morning that investigators are still searching for the man they believe was behind the wheel of the van involved in the crash.

Police said the driver abandoned the van and fled on foot.

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City councillors Catherine McKenney and Jeff Leiper both posted photographs of the white painted bicycle installed outside city hall on Twitter on Monday night. In her tweet, McKenney called for “real action to keep (Ottawa’s) most vulnerable road users safe.”

“Let this be the last ghost bike Ottawa is ever forced to install,” Leiper wrote.

On Friday, Mayor Jim Watson said the fatal collision prompted him to ask city staff to conduct “a safety review of intersections with high cycling volume.”

Staff are also working with the Ottawa Police Service’s collision investigation unit as it probes the hit-and-run, the mayor tweeted.

Cycling advocates plan to gather at city hall on Wednesday morning to urge local officials to “prioritize safe cycling spaces.”

Investigators, meanwhile, are asking the public to help them identify the suspect.

Police describe the driver as a skinny man standing five feet 10 inches tall with long black hair.

“He was seen after the incident on a surveillance camera at the Rideau Centre wearing a light-coloured jacket over a hoodie, blue jeans and white sneakers with two stripes on the side. He was carrying a blue backpack,” police wrote in a news release last week.

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Police are still searching for this man, who they believe was driving a van involved in a fatal hit-and-run crash in downtown Ottawa on Thursday morning. The cyclist the vehicle struck died from his injuries in hospital.
Police are still searching for this man, who they believe was driving a van involved in a fatal hit-and-run crash in downtown Ottawa on Thursday morning. The cyclist the vehicle struck died from his injuries in hospital. Ottawa Police Service handout

Investigators urge anyone with information to call 613-236-1222 ext. 2481.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or at crimestoppers.ca.

—With a file from Christopher Whan

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