$500 fine does ‘not fit the crime’, says widow of man killed while cy­cling

StarMetro Toronto - - FRONT PAGE - Ben Spurr TRANS­PORTA­TION RE­PORTER

When the driver con­victed in the in­ci­dent that killed her hus­band was handed a $500 fine in a Scar­bor­ough court­room last month, An­gela Sim had a mes­sage for him: the pun­ish­ment was not nearly enough.

“The penalty you re­ceive here to­day will not fit the crime, but penalty there must be,” Sim said in a vic­tim im­pact state­ment read aloud by a Crown at­tor­ney. “You should not be able to walk away un­touched. Gary cer­tainly didn’t.”

Gary Sim, 70, died on July 2, 2017, two days af­ter he was cut off by a van driver while rid­ing his bike.

On Nov. 14, Jus­tice of the Peace Grace Lau found Zivo­rad Simich, 64, guilty of a non­crim­i­nal High­way Traf­fic Act of­fence called turn not in safety. The $500 fine she gave him was the max­i­mum penalty al­lowed by law.

In an emo­tional scene that played out in the court­room at 1530 Markham Rd., Crown at­tor­ney Jamie Macpher­son read out the vic­tim im­pact state­ments from Sim’s widow and their daugh­ter Heather, and a tear­ful Simich apol­o­gized to the fam­ily.

And even as lawyers and Lau sought to de­ter­mine the strictest penalty the driver could face, none dis­puted that what­ever it was it paled in com­par­i­son to the dev­as­ta­tion caused to Sim’s loved ones.

“The court re­al­izes there is no penalty I could im­pose that could com­pen­sate for the loss suf­fered by the griev­ing fam­ily,” Lau said.

The ac­ci­dent oc­curred at the south en­trance of the Jane Park Plaza in the Rock­cliffe Smythe neigh­bour­hood of west Toronto.

Sim was rid­ing his bike west­bound on the side­walk of Al­liance Ave. Simich, who was also headed west­bound in a Ford Tran­sit cargo van, passed Sim and then made a last-sec­ond turn into the plaza di­rectly in front the cy­clist. Sim fell to the ground and suf­fered a se­ri­ous head wound.

More at thes­tar.com/gta

Gary Sim died af­ter the cy­clist was cut off by a driver mak­ing a turn into a plaza.

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