Man who hit and killed cy­clist guilty of care­less driv­ing

Jus­tice of the peace says Guy McPhee should have paid bet­ter at­ten­tion

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - NATALIE PADDON npad­don@thes­pec.com 905-526-2420 | @NatatTheSpec

Hamil­ton real es­tate bro­ker Guy McPhee has been found guilty of care­less driv­ing in the death of cy­clist Jay Keddy.

The teacher at Prince of Wales school was bik­ing up the Clare­mont Ac­cess on his way home from work when he was struck and killed by McPhee’s black pickup truck on Dec. 2, 2015.

While de­liv­er­ing her ver­dict Fri­day, jus­tice of the peace Eileen Walker said she ac­cepted McPhee’s tes­ti­mony that he did not see Keddy cy­cling in the curb lane around 5:30 p.m. that evening.

“But the crux of … this case is why didn’t he see Jay Keddy?” she asked court Fri­day.

Based on wit­ness tes­ti­mony in the four-day trial, the vis­i­bil­ity was clear that evening de­spite the sun hav­ing set around 4:45 p.m., Walker said.

McPhee was on his way home when he drove up the Moun­tain ac­cess road, which was down to one lane due to con­struc­tion in a stretch just be­fore where he struck Keddy.

Court heard McPhee was fo­cused on chang­ing out of the curb lane to take the West 5th exit — look­ing in his driver’s side mir­ror, do­ing a shoul­der check — when he hit some­thing.

“He does not see Jay Keddy then he hears a bang,” Walker said.

The 57-year-old pulled over and got out of his truck. He tes­ti­fied he saw pa­pers float­ing in the head­lights but could not see what he had hit. No other ve­hi­cles had pulled over, Walker said.

Court heard Keddy, 53, had been wear­ing a green hel­met, red hat, brown coat, black gloves and shoes and blue jeans. He was car­ry­ing a mes­sen­ger bag and a lunch bag, and had lights and re­flec­tors on his black bike.

Keddy, who was pro­nounced dead on scene, had a wife and three grown chil­dren.

His death be­came a ral­ly­ing point for cy­cling and safe-street ac­tivists de­mand­ing more bike lanes. There are no bike lanes on the Clare­mont Ac­cess.

“One does not ex­pect a cy­clist on a busy ac­cess where there are no bike lanes,” Walker said, but added McPhee still should have been alert to the pos­si­bil­ity.

Walker told court po­lice said McPhee had been trav­el­ling be­tween 49 and 59 km/h in a stretch where the posted limit is 70 km/h when he hit Keddy. Af­ter stop­ping for about 30 sec­onds or so in a live lane of traf­fic fol­low­ing the col­li­sion, McPhee got back into his truck, called his wife us­ing Blue­tooth and drove home. There, he called po­lice to tell them he’d hit some­thing.

Court heard McPhee also called his auto body shop to make an ap­point­ment to take his truck in the next day af­ter see­ing the “sig­nif­i­cant” dam­age.

It wasn’t un­til he was driv­ing down the ac­cess to pick up his daugh­ter later that evening that McPhee saw paramedics on scene and knew he might have hit some­one, Walker said. He called po­lice again, and when he got home, he was ar­rested.

Un­der the High­way Traf­fic Act, care­less driv­ing is de­scribed as driv­ing “with­out due care and at­ten­tion or with­out rea­son­able con­sid­er­a­tion for other per­sons us­ing the high­way.”

A con­vic­tion comes with a fine of be­tween $400 and $2,000 and pos­si­bly a li­cence sus­pen­sion of up to two years. It could also call for as many as six months in jail.

Sen­tenc­ing is set for Sept. 8.

Cy­clist Jay Keddy was a teacher.

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