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Cyclist and Grade 2 School Teacher Tom Samson Killed in Hit & Run at Lansdowne & Davenport Intersection

This morning I awoke to radio reports of a cyclist down due to a hit and run at Lansdowne Avenue and Davenport Road. Immediately, somehow, I just knew whoever it was, was gone.

I made my way to the intersection on foot. What was found, even before reaching the intersection, was sadness.

Manuel Martins, the driver of a van which stayed on the scene, spoke to me. He told me the other van had hit the cyclist. The force of that hit caused the cyclist to smash in the driver’s side front light of Mr. Martins’ van.

His opinion was that the Cyclist was killed instantly. The damage on his van attests to this possibility. It was reported he actually died in Hospital from the injuries.

“He” was a Grade 2 elementary School Teacher named Tom Samson. He is the fifth cyclist, and second school teacher, to become a fatality riding a bike this year in Toronto.

Swansea Public School blogged a message to parents, which is quoted here in its entirety:

Sad News from Swansea

November 23, 2012 by Swansea PS Parent Council’s Site

Dear Parents/Guardians:

It is with deep regret and sadness that we inform you of the sudden death of Swansea PS teacher Tom Samson, who passed away earlier today, in a bike accident. This has been a sombre day for all of us at our school as we mourn this tragic loss of life. We know that you will join with all of us in expressing our deepest condolences to grieving family and friends.

Tom taught grade 2 and has been a caring and valued member of our team for 8 years. Tom was an avid chess coach and player, many of his students will remember being soundly beaten by him. He also coached the boys’ basketball team and led the Swansea Sharks to many victories. He will be remembered as a dedicated staff member who, over the years, made so many strong connections with those he encountered. Tom will be missed greatly by our entire school community.

A trust fund has been set up for Tom’s family at the Bank of Montreal (Windermere and Bloor). A Book of Remembrance will be set up in the Bell Hall for staff, students and parents to write their memories of Tom Samson. Further information about funeral services will be sent as it becomes available.

Our students and staff are understandably upset by what happened. Toronto District School Board staff has been at the school to offer support and counselling and will remain for as long as they are needed. I know that you will also want to help your children in every way possible as they attempt to understand and process this tragedy. We encourage families to talk in whatever way is appropriate for each family. The following web page offers some information that might assist in your conversations:

Thank you for your support and understanding during this very difficult time. Please feel free to contact the school if you have any concerns or questions.


Karen Ridley
Swansea PS

A memorial bike ride and ghost bike installation at the intersection is being pulled together for this coming Friday, November 30 2012.

He leaves behind his wife and two children.

Tom Samson was 35.

FUNERAL UPDATE- Saturday Night November 24 2012:

If I am not mistaken, The Funeral information will be posted at this hyperlink after 12 p.m. on Sunday November 25 2012.

UPDATE at 3:30 p.m. Sunday November 25 2012 :

Tomer (Tom) Samson
Date of Death: Friday, November 23, 2012
Yartzheit day: 9 Kislev, 5773
Date of Funeral: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Time of Funeral: 1:00 PM
Location of Funeral: Service at 76 Wychwood Ave., Toronto (Wychwood Barns)
Location of Burial: Burial service strictly private
Shiva Location: 155 Mulholland Dr., Thornhill, Ontario
Tuesday – shiva private. Visitors are welcome on Wednesday and Thursday from 1 p.m. Family observes Kashrut (Kosher)
Times of Services:
Evening: Evening services Wednesday and Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

The family requests that donations to be directed to the Toronto Public Library, thru the TPL Foundation


Add your message of condolence to the family of Tomer (Tom) Samson


Toronto Cyclist Killed, Landsdowne & Davenport – Friday November 23 2012

Toronto Cyclist Killed, Landsdowne Avenue and Davenport Road – Friday morning, November 23 2012

Storified by HiMY SYeD · Fri, Nov 23 2012 13:45:17

HiMY SYeD — Walking Landsdowne Avenue northward to Davenport Road Toronto, Friday November 23 2012himysyed
Walking Lansdowne north to Davenport… Sadness. #bikeTO SYeD
Walking Lansdowne north to Davenport… Sadness. #bikeTOHiMYSYeD
Collision Reconstruction, Lansdowne & Davenport. #bikeTO SYeD
Collision Reconstruction, Lansdowne & Davenport. #bikeTOHiMYSYeD
please put my friend @ReconGeni & her team out of work. “@HiMYSYeD: Collision Reconstruction #bikeTO”brian betsworth
We wud Luv 2 put my Coll Inv team out of work 2 @BrianBikesTO @ReconGeni @HiMYSYeD: Collision Reconstruction #bikeTO””Supt Jill Skinner
HiMY SYeD – Manuel Martins Eyewitness Cyclist killed Landsdowne & Davenport Toronto November 23 2012himysyed
Eyewitness Manuel Martins tells me Cyclist hit by other vehicle, then hit his van’s front #bikeTO SYeD
Eyewitness Manuel Martins tells me Cyclist hit by other vehicle, then hit his van’s front #bikeTOHiMYSYeD
Manuel Martins says force of hit by other vehicle killed cyclist immediately. He called 911. #bikeTO SYeD
Manuel Martins says force of hit by other vehicle killed cyclist immediately. He called 911. #bikeTOHiMYSYeD
HiMY SYeD – Cyclist Killed, Landsdowne & Davenport, TFS washes blood Toronto Friday November 23 2012himysyed
Toronto Firefighters perform difficult responsibility of washing away blood. …I’m done 🙁 #bikeTO SYeD
Toronto Firefighters perform difficult responsibility of washing away blood. …I’m done 🙁 #bikeTOHiMYSYeD

Media Reports

Police look for van after cyclist killed in hit-and-runToronto police are looking for a minivan after a male cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run at an intersection during Friday morning’s comm…
Cyclist Dies in Hit-and-Run, Police Searching for Red Van | news | TorontoistA 35-year-old male cyclist is dead after being hit by a van on Lansdowne Avenue near Davenport Road, according to the Star . After the co…
Toronto cyclist killed in hit-and-run collisionA male cyclist has died after being struck by a van in a hit-and-run Friday morning. The collision occurred just before 7 a.m. at Lansdow…
Cyclist seriously hurt in hit-&-run on Lansdowne AvenueA cyclist has been seriously hurt in a hit-and-run on Lansdowne Avenue at Davenport Road. The victim was apparently without vital signs w…
Police seek van after cyclist killed during morning commuteA cyclist has died after an apparent hit-and-run Friday morning, and police are searching for a red-coloured van in connection with the i…
Cyclist killed in hit-and-run | NOW MagazineThis morning a Toronto cyclist was killed, the result of a hit-and-run near the corner of Davenport and Lansdowne, according to Toronto p…
Police search for minivan after Toronto cyclist killed in a hit-and-runTORONTO – Toronto police are asking for the public’s help in tracking down a minivan after a cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run Friday m…

Twitter Conversations

Worth noting that the cyclist was hit by two separate vehicles, according to the TPS report. woolley
Toronto Police Service :: To Serve and ProtectTo Serve and Protect
Nov 23, 2012, 11:02 am

Traffic fatality #39/2012
Davenport Road/Lansdowne Avenue

Traffic Services

On Friday, November 23, 2012, at 6:43 a.m., police responded to a call for a personal injury collision at Davenport Road and Lansdowne Avenue.

It is reported that:

– a 35-year-old man with a bicycle was attempting to cross Davenport Road on the east side of Lansdowne Avenue from the south side to the north side

– a red or burgundy Chrysler minivan westbound on Davenport Road struck the man

– a 63-year-old man driving a 2006 GMC van eastbound on Davenport Road also struck the man

– the driver of the Chrysler fled the scene in his or her vehicle

The 35-year-old man was taken to hospital and pronounced dead.

Police are seeking the public’s assistances locating a vehicle of interest. It is described as a 1996-2000 Chrysler minivan, red or burgundy. The vehicle will have front-end damage in the area of the left front bumper, fender, hood and headlight areas.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-1900, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Constable Tony Vella, Corporate Communications, for Constable Clinton Stibbe, Traffic Services

@emmamwoolley cheesusRachel
@rachelmack @emmamwoolley Two cars, that were moving in different directions. Oh man. Oh.Edward Keenan
@thekeenanwire @rachelmack Commenter on the Sun says cyclist was wearing a helmet too. woolley
“For all those questioning what happened, I saw the cyclist just after it happened, he was wearing a helmet. The car hit him hard enough to leave automotive debris all over the intersection. Stop being dicks, someone has passed away, regardless of who’s fault it is.” — Toronto Sun Article Comment
Cyclist fights for life after hit-runA cyclist suffered critical injuries in a hit-and-run accident in central Toronto on Friday morning.
@emmamwoolley @thekeenanwire @rachelmack did they both carry on, then?Jon Robson
@emmamwoolley @thekeenanwire @rachelmack nevermindJon Robson
@Robsonian @emmamwoolley @thekeenanwire @rachelmack No 2nd car stopped (driver talked to @HiMYSYeD )Mark Gold
@emmamwoolley @thekeenanwire He had helmet. 3 off duty medics happened to drive by, all stopped to give cpr but he was hit too hard. So sad.Zoe Whittall
@mj_gold @Robsonian @emmamwoolley @thekeenanwire @rachelmack @HiMYSYeD Cyclist crossing against the light, I wonder..?Rowan Caister
@rowancaister we’ll see, maybe.Jon Robson
@zoewhittall @thekeenanwire Oh man. That is…wow.emma woolley

Reflections on Cyclist’s Death

Our thoughts are with the family of the cyclist killed this morning. @TorontoPolice looking for driver: #biketoCycle Toronto
A cyclist was killed in Toronto this morning, but it won’t be the last timeA 35-year-old man was killed while riding his bike in a relatively quiet neighbourhood of Toronto Friday morning. The red minivan that st…
A cyclist was killed in Toronto this morning, but it won’t be the last time. via @wolfewylie #bikeTOJake Tobin Garrett
The cyclist killed this morning was Tom Samson, a Grade 2 teacher in Swansea #bikeTONeville Park
Wish I could bottle the empathy for Tom Samson, killed on his bike this a.m., and sprinkle it on our daily transportation convos #bikeTODesmond Cole
Two out of five cyclists killed in TO this year were school teachers: Peter Cram and Tom Samson. #biketoARC
CTV News is reporting 3 cyclists killed this year. Incorrect. Sadly, 5 died in 2012. Map: #biketoARC
Toronto Cyclist Fatalities – Google MapsFind local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps
So, you should read this: A cyclist was killed in TO this morning, but he won’t be the last via @thecanadacom #BikeTODanielle Webb
"The politicization of transportation has cost people their safety." Absolutely. via @thecanadacom #bikeTO #torontoJoel
MT @glen_mcgregor After death of a cyclist in TO today, a good pc from @wolfewylie the danger city riders face #bikeTOdrewski
What this guys said: #BikeTOMatthew Browning
Cyclist killed in hit-and-run: What, exactly, are Mayor’s plans to make our streets safe for cycling? #bikeTO #topoliMichael Shapcott
Very upset this morning to hear that another cyclist has been killed in our community. My thoughts are with his friends and family. #bikeTOJonah Schein
"Every commuter has these close calls… every now and then, like today, someone is killed." #BikeTO Mak-Tubbs
"It’s about slow­ing down and respect­ing fel­low city-dwellers" Well said, @thecanadacom: #BikeTOJoe Byer
Everytime a cyclist is killed, I think about how many dangerous incidents I have ‘survived’. It doesn’t have to be this way. #bikeTO #ward36Marvin Macaraig
I wrote a piece about the cyclist who died this morning, and why he won’t be the last in Toronto: #BikeTOWilliam Wolfe-Wylie
"My heart bleeds for them when I hear someone gets killed, but it’s their own fault at the end of the day." – @TOMayorFord #BikeTOMatthew Browning

Memorial Plans for Friday November 30 2012

Our hearts go out to the family of the cyclist killed on Davenport this morning. Worst year for bike safety since 1998. #biketoARC
ARC will hold a memorial for the fallen cyclist at Davenport and Lansdowne next Friday Nov. 30. Details TBA. #biketoARC
@RespectTO planning a memorial for next Friday, November 30, at Davenport and Lansdowne. #bikeTOTodd Aalgaard
Very sad – be careful out there! Two out of five cyclists killed in TO this year were school teachers: Peter Cram and Tom Samson. @RespectTOLesley Nilsson
@RespectTO Will there be a memorial ride for Tom Samson, do you know?Neville Park
@neville_park Nov. 30. Always a week after the fatality. Details TBA on our feed. Do you prefer a AM or PM ride?ARC

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