Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cyclist Killed on the Rickenbacker Causeway

A full week has passed since Mr. Christophe Le Canne was killed by a drunk driver on the Bear Cut Bridge while on a training ride near Key Biscayne.

After a week of pondering and going through a whole spectrum of feelings such as anger, sorrow, and mourning, I have finally come to grips as to how to best express myself in the wake of this tragedy.

During the week, the Cyclist community in Miami has spoken, loudly with both actions and words, we have attended council meetings, written to our local politicians and kept the attention front and center to make sure something like this does not happen again.

A lot has been said about the person who killed Mr. Le Canne and fled the scene with the bike still lodged under his car for miles, the inadequate response from rescue mainly due to the actions of the 911 dispatcher who called a rescue unit from miles away, the budget cuts that have resulted in less emergency services in the area and more.

This morning thousands of riders answered the call and made a pilgrimage ride to site of the tragedy, a plaque has been placed along with flowers and a "ghost bike" and even though this may somehow soothe our mourning feelings, the fact still remains that Mr. Le Canne met an untimely passing and his wife is now a widow and his daughter has no father.

In the face of these unfortunate events, true character rises, for starters Mr. Le Canne's family in the wake of such an immense loss, still display and their wonderful humanity and place the spotlight on the people of Haiti by requesting that all and any donations be made in the name of Christopher Le Canne to the Read Cross towards the tragedy in Haiti.

So two stories emerge from this: On the one hand, a pampered, sheltered brat, gets behind the wheel of his car after drinking for hours and on his way home veers out of his lane into the Bicycle lane and hits a cyclist with his car.
A choice needs to be made: One that requires character and true moral fiber, stay and help the person he just hit with the car or show absolutely no respect towards a fellow human and flee the scene without even hesitating, the story has been written already.

This individual made the choice that was instilled in him by his upbringing and carried on to the shelter of the place that created him: His Home.

Once there however, Police caught up with him and once again his true arrogance came to light by not only resisting arrest but refusing to own up to his actions and refusing to give a blood sample that clearly showed he was intoxicated beyond the legal limit for a driver. The rest of the story will be written by our legal system and this person will get what he deserves.

However, he has already set in motion some even more powerful forces that in some Asian beliefs call Karma and that is inescapable.

Mr. Le Canne is no longer with us, but his wife and daughter are and despite the fact that they will have to carry on with the unimaginable pain of having lost him in an untimely fashion, they will also honor his memory by living an honorable life, and here is where the big difference lies. By living a good life, Mr. Le Canne left this world a better place than how he encountered it, and for that Sir; I honor your memory -

A lot of good will come out this event, we owe it to Christophe Le Canne, to those who will come after us, to the cycling community, and to our city. As long as we keep the focus and direction of our actions towards the common good, Mr Le Canne will still live within us.

Rest in Peace Christophe Le Canne, we'll take it from where you left off and carry on !


  1. Wow Gus. Nice blog. I'm sure it was not easy.

    "a pampered, sheltered brat, gets behind the wheel of his car...."

    Unfortunately, I'm not sure this incident will change his behavior much. These types of individuals tend to not realize the consequences of their actions. I would like to know who owned the car he was driving. If it was his parents, the enablers, then they must bear some responsibility here. They allowed him to drive their car and he killed somebody.

    This is a very thoughtful blog on the tragedy of Christophe Le Canne.

  2. Thanks Bill, I really appreciate your feedback - I share your thougths on this issue

  3. Well said Gustavo. We have a lot of work to do...numerous points to address. And while we work on these points e.g how this motorist was able to drive a car with the record he has? let's make sure Christophe's wife and daughter are taken care of.

    Joe Mizereck