Motorcyclist dead after striking stopped van

Motorcyclist dead after striking stopped van

Alcohol is suspected in the fatal crash of a motorcycle driver who struck a broken-down cube van at the South Kingsway on-ramp to the Gardiner.

“The motorcyclist, for whatever reason, didn’t identify that vehicle as stopped, even though it had its four-way flashers on, and ended up — at a high rate of speed — running into the back of the cube van,” Sgt. Tim Burrows of the Toronto Police Service’s traffic services division told on Saturday.

“Once he was thrown from the motorcycle, he ended up in lane 3 of the Gardiner Expressway, where he was subsequently run over by an SUV.”

Burrows said the SUV driver was understandably shaken, but is otherwise okay.

“We believe, and the coroner mentioned at the scene, that the impact with the cube van would likely have been life-ending instantaneously, so the driver of the SUV can get a little comfort from the fact that he didn’t kill him,” he said.

The incident occurred about 11:30 p.m. Friday and left the eastbound Gardiner closed from Humber to Jameson until about 6 a.m.

Burrows said police have asked for the 39-year-old motorcycle driver’s body to be screened for alcohol.

He didn’t have an exact make, but Burrows said it was a bigger, high-performance sport motorcycle.

No one else was injured.

As a sidebar to the crash, a driver somehow manoeuvred around the police closure and made his way onto the Gardiner “and just about drove into the scene,” Burrows said.

“He was arrested and charged with impaired driving and driving over 80 milligrams,” he said, adding the suspect’s blood-alcohol level was two-and-a-half times the legal limit.

This is Toronto’s second motorcycle fatality and the 44th vehicle fatality of 2008.