$500 fine does ‘not fit the crime’, says widow of man killed while cycling
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.
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Gary Sim died after the cyclist was cut off by a driver making a turn into a plaza.