Lying in a bed at Michael Garron Hospital, Tedd Dillon shows off a mug his twin sister gave him Tuesday when he celebrated his birthday.
But Dillon said there’s little to celebrate and is upset about the sudden halt to a year that had been going well professionally and was filled with plans for travel, including a fishing trip and a ski trip.
The 69-year-old suffered three fractures to his pelvis, a pulmonary embolism and is struggling to breathe — the result of a collision with an off-leash dog last Friday afternoon while Dillon was riding his bicycle along the Martin Goodman Trail.
Dillon, who stands six-foot-three and weighs 260 pounds, was riding his bicycle along the paved path next to Kew Beach when he noticed a mid-sized dog, roughly 70 pounds, careening towards him, chasing a squirrel.
“I’m looking and I’m thinking, oh my God. I put the brakes on so I’m stationary and this dog hits me,” said Dillon.
Dillon fell off his bicycle to the pavement below and could barely move as the dog ran off.
Good Samaritans came to his aide, but witnesses told him the dog’s owners, who were on rollerblades, took off.
“I would like them to accept responsibility and their insurance company could help me bridge the gap between the time that I am not working and when I can actually start to work again because this has taken a chunk out of my life.”
Dillon’s sister has put posters up around the beach neighbourhood where the crash occurred in an effort to identify the couple who was with the dog.
Dillon believes the owners must have known he was hurt since people had gathered around, but wonders if “perhaps they didn’t know their dog had been involved in a hit-and-run.”
A member of Cycle Toronto, Dillon advocates for safe streets and believes dog owners need to take responsibility for their pets.
“That’s why we have regulations that say keep the dogs on a leash because these things happen,” said Dillon. “I pray for them, I think it’s a very uncivil thing to do,” he added, speaking of the dog’s owners.
Dillon said his greatest regret is that after a robust year of acting and voice-over work, it’s now all on hold as he prepares for at least two-to-three months of recovery.
“One of the most heartbreaking ones was a new character they were writing into Paw Patrol,” said Dillon, referring to an audition he had coming up which he’s now had to cancel.
A GoFundMe has since been set up to help Dillon cover costs related to the incident.