Bell HS student cyclist killed on prom day

The CBC and CTV are reporting that the victim was not wearing a helmet, but in the words of a policeman on the scene, “a helmet wouldn’t have saved him” after being thrown over the handlebars and launched face-first at the pole.

No other vehicles were involved in this accident. He was just going too fast in a swooping left turn.

Can some accidents like this be prevented by better cyclist education – not just on the rules of the road but also about the basics of bike maintenance? Riding a properly assembled and maintained bike is important. There’s quite a steep hill heading south on Castlefrank, so it’s possible to get up a lot of speed. The CCM bike was only a week old, so maybe the cables stretched and were less effective. A new bike should be readjusted after the initial break-in period to tighten nuts and adjust cables.

Maybe it was just a case of a teen (on the day of his prom and two days before his graduation ceremony!) thinking he’s invulnerable or being distracted, as is their wont. There was no uneven pavement at the scene, no glass debris that he was swerving to avoid. The cycling infrastructure there looks fine to me – low speed limits and even a shared-use path along Castlefrank as an option for slower cyclists.

We’ll never know what really caused this tragic accident, but there’s a lot more involved than just asking reflexively “was he wearing a helmet?” Hopefully it won’t become more fodder for the misguided proponents of a mandatory helmet law.

Dinardo’s will do for a free safety check and both the Bells Corners Canadian Tire and the Bicycle Doctor do good work. You can also get safety checks and other free services from Recyclore.

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3 Responses to Bell HS student cyclist killed on prom day

  1. ottawaowl says:

    from the principal’s blog:

    We mourn the loss of a beloved Bruin!

    June 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm


    The Bell High School community lost a beloved student this past Wednesday in a bicycle accident.

    Mahmoud Eid, one of our graduates, is remembered as a wonderfully warm, caring, conscientious student who has been taken from us much too soon. His love of life was conveyed through his “ear to ear smile” that lit up each and every room he entered. His personality made him very easy to be around, and this, combined with his gracious, empathetic manner made him a perfect fit for our LINK program this year as a valued mentor to many grade 9 students.

    Mahmoud loved Bell HS; his fellow classmates as well as his teachers. In conversation with him he often made a point of commenting how Bell was his “home away from home.” He eloquently states this in his grad writeup from this year’s yearbook and sends us, his “family,” the following message:

    “I came from Egypt 2 years ago and have been to 5 different high schools. I thought that Bell would be like any other typical high school. But it felt like home after one week of being at the school. People were helpful, friendly, and fun. I know the friends I’ve made are going to be lifelong friends that I say thank you to you all the people who made me have some of the best time of my life.”

    On behalf of Bell HS and District, I want to pass on our sincerest condolences to the family during this very difficult time. The school has set up a memorial table inside the front doors to the main office. Those who would like to come to the school and capture your thoughts/words/feelings in the book displayed on the table are more than welcome. The book was set up this afternoon after our graduation ceremonies, and will be available from July 3 – July 14, 2012.


    Bruce Whitehead – Principal

  2. ottawaowl says:

    Teen mourns ‘amazing guy’ after fatal collision in Kanata

    Joe Lofaro, Metro Ottawa

    The 18-year-old cyclist who died after crashing into a hydro pole in Kanata Wednesday was supposed to graduate from Bell High School on Friday, a close friend told Metro.

    Husni Jallad said it was a huge shock when he heard his friend Mahmoud Lokman Eid died yesterday. He last saw him three days earlier.

    “I didn’t see it coming, I’m in shock,” said Jallad, 19. “He was like a brother to me. He was an amazing guy.”

    When paramedics arrived at McNeil Court, Eid was unconscious. They treated him for severe head injuries, but when they arrived at hospital, he lost all vital signs.

    He was pronounced dead in hospital.

    Jallad described Eid as the “the kindest person on Earth” who was always smiling and had no enemies.

    “I want everybody to pray for him because he deserves a better life,” said Jallad.

    The two young men knew each other only two years, but the all-too-short span of their friendship was filled with memories, including trips to Calypso WaterPark and La Ronde. They went to Calypso just two weeks ago with Jallad’s brother, Ehab, who is pictured above to the right of Eid.

    Jallad does not know if Eid was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision.

    Jennifer Adams, director of education for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, said a crisis management team has been put in place to provide counselling to students and staff.

    “On behalf of the students, staff and parent community of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and especially the Bell High School community, we extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mahmoud Lokman Eid,” said Adams in an emailed statement.

    “Our school community is in mourning and together, we will support each other in this time of need.”

  3. TonyL1 says:

    Slightly off topic, and nothing to do with this incident, but I feel new bicycles should be sold with lights & horns/bells as original equipment included, seeing that many bikes lack these basic safety items – bikes do fall under the HTA.

    – I agree that a cheap bell should be installed on every new or used bike sold, including the bikes at Recyclore. Without it you’re not legal and not safe.

    Lights are a different matter. Riding at night without lights is foolish, but I would oppose mandatory lights on purchased bikes – some people never ride at night and there are so many different options for lighting, from $3 in the dollar store to a day’s wages at Dinardo’s.

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