According to the Ottawa Citizen, the children “were hit so hard by the bike that they flew into a metal railing.” Their mother, Sonia Elliott, said “it was chaos. My heart was just in my throat...I just didn’t know what to do. I was panicking. I thought they were dead.”
Both her sons were taken to CHEO and one sustained what may have been a serious head injury.
The accident location reportedly falls within the federal jurisdiction of Parks Canada. Other parts of the bike
paths in the vicinity are likely within the jurisdiction of the National Capital Commission (the NCC). However, the Citizen went on to report that when Ms. Elliott contacted the Ottawa Police, she was advised they had no jurisdiction over that pathway.
Curiously, speed bumps and new signage to reduce bike speed were installed not long after the accident made local news headlines. Fortunately, it seems the authorities are taking the issue of bicycle collisions more seriously, at least at that location. There may be concerns about legal liability too.
Injuries that occur on government owned or managed lands can expose the government to claims in negligence. These claims must be brought in a timely manner, and retaining a good personal injury lawyer early on is always advisable to help navigate potential pitfalls.
Menzies Lawyers is a multi-service Ottawa based litigation firm which can assist with a broad range of personal injury matters. This blog article by Richard Nishimura is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.