Letters to the Editor: Cyclist’s encounter with off-leash dog on bike trail resulted in serious injuries

Janet D’Arcy suffered a number of injuries after a dog that was off-leash ran into her bike while she was cycling on the Martin Goodman Trail bike path near Lee Avenue. Photo: Submitted.

On May 30, I was riding eastbound on the Martin Goodman Trail just east of Lee Avenue shortly before 7 a.m. when a dog ran across the path in front of my bike. ‘

Since it came from behind me at an angle I had no time to even try to brake. Apparently I went over my handle bars. The next thing I recall was sitting up against the white pavilion with a kind lady (who happened to be a patient of mine) wiping blood off of my face.

Another kind lady called 911 and I was whisked up to Michael Garron Hospital. The end result of this accident was a blowout fracture of my orbit, a tiny brain bleed, a dislocated finger and an avulsion fracture to that finger, a concussion, and road rash on my face.

My bicycle is also a write off. I was wearing a helmet, thankfully, or it could have been much, much worse.

This accident brings up two significant issues that are of paramount importance to both local and non local residents.

Always, always, always wear a helmet. As a health care provider one of my pet peeves is seeing adults out cycling without helmets with their young children in helmets. While it’s great that the kids have helmets on I do wonder who is going to take care of those children if their parent has a traumatic brain injury.

I missed almost two weeks of work and I was relatively useless around the house for that time frame. It’s simple, wear a helmet!

Secondly, dogs should be on leashes and under the control of their owner at ALL times in non off-leash zones.

May 30 was the third Thursday morning that I had unfortunate interactions with off-leash/non-controlled dogs while riding. Luckily, I was able to stop the first two times.

I have a dog. I love dogs. But dogs are dogs – they see a squirrel and they are gone and people like me end up like this. (See the photo of me.)

Please, please, please leash your dog where it should be leashed, even if you don’t care about cyclists/runners – think about how your dog can be hurt by these collisions.

On a final note, I will say that the owner of the dog who caused my crash was kind enough to stick around and even took my bike home for me.

He also admitted that he was in the wrong, which I do appreciate.

And if there is a silver lining to any of this, it was the kindness of people in this great community who attended to me in my time of need. For that I feel blessed.

Janet D’Arcy

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