Monday, June 29, 2009


Accident victims were newlyweds
Runaway SUV killed Burlington couple, Hamilton cyclist

Hannah Gordon-Roche and Jeffery Roche were married June 6.

The Burlington couple, both 29, was killed June 26 by an out-of-control SUV Friday, just four days after returning from their honeymoon.

An 81-year-old cyclist, Tong Vi Duong of Hamilton, was also killed in the late afternoon series of collisions that left a trail of destruction along York Boulevard near the High Level Bridge and closed the road for 11 hours.

The tragedy unfolded at 5:28 p.m. Friday when a black, Ford Explorer driving north on York Boulevard at the start of the High Level Bridge hit a cyclist.

Witnesses say the SUV continued north dragging the cyclist for about 15 metres and then continued around a curve and eastbound across the bridge before colliding with the rear of a small, eastbound sedan near Valley Inn Road. The car then bounced into the path of an oncoming pickup truck at Valley Inn Road near the border with Halton.

The driver, 40-year-old Allan Maki, of Stoney Creek, has been charged with three counts of criminal negligence causing death and three counts of dangerous driving causing death.

Police shut a huge swath of York Boulevard and Plains Road West while collision reconstruction investigators examined the scene and kept it closed overnight.

The force of the collision destroyed the small sedan, killing the Roches and their West Highland Terrier, Piper-Bear.

Staff Sergeant Glenn Jarvie, of the police emergency response section, said today the SUV then continued off the road and police found the driver, the sole occupant of the vehicle, there with minor injuries. He was taken to hospital, treated and released.

The three deaths brought the number of traffic fatalities in Hamilton so far this year to 10.

At the other end of the bridge, Conrad Zurini said he tried to help Duong, but it was too late.

"The man was on a bike with fenders and a large container on the back," Zurini said. "It dragged the bike and man for about 40 feet. We got there and he was spread out on the ground. A nurse rushed in to give him CPR but when I felt for a pulse, there was no pulse. There was bleeding coming from the back of his head."

Although intial police reports indicated the driver of the SUV may have suffered a medical emergency, Jarvie said today that is still the subject of investigation and there has been no final conclusion on that issue.

Jarvie said investigators do not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Jarvie said the evidence at the scene warrants the charges laid.

He also said police need witnesses to the collision to come forward and urged anyone with information to contact the collision reconstruction unit at 905-546-4753.

Funeral Service for Hannah Gordon-Roche and Jeffery Roche will be held Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 11 a.m. at St. Christopher's Anglican Church, , 662 Guelph Line, Burlington, where visitation will take place one hour prior to the service before burial at Parklawn Cemetery, Toronto.

In lieu of flowers friends have been asked to please make a donation to Interval House, Hamilton, UNICEF or a charity that supports children., 905-526-2469

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