Cyclist involved in Bath collision succumbs to injuries

This memorial marker was put up at the site of the collision in Bath between a vehicle and a group of cyclists, which occurred on Sunday, May 27. One of those cyclists has since passed away due to his injuries. Photo submitted by Gord Townley.

The male cyclist who was sent to hospital in critical condition following a collision on Sunday, May 27 has succumbed to his injuries.

Jeff Vervaeke, 42, was one of several cyclists struck by the vehicle, which collided with a group participating in a charity bike ride to raise funds for Pancreatic Cancer Canada called ‘7 Days in May.’ The organizer of that charity bike ride, Gord Townley, confirmed that Vervaeke passed away on Friday, June 1.

“He passed away on Friday afternoon – around 2 p.m. or so, just as we were passing his home town of Waterdown,” Townley said, referring to the whereabouts of the remaining 7 Days in May cyclists who continued on their trek around Lake Ontario.

“He was surrounded by his family. Mother, father, stepdad, daughter, aunts, uncles… and his partner, Kim… as well as her daughters,” Townley said. Vervaeke had one 14-year-old daughter, and lived with his partner Kim, who also has two daughters.

The collision happened on Highway 33 in Bath around 3:30 p.m. near Jim Snow Road in Amherstview. The group was on day two of their 1,200 km journey. The Ontario Provincial Police later arrested and charged 51-year-old Robert Saunders, the motor vehicle driver involved in the collision. Saunders was charged with two counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm. OPP had not responded to requests for more information at time of publication.

Townley’s daughter, Erin, who was also sent to hospital as a result of the collision, remains in hospital, but is recovering nicely, Townley said. After visiting his daughter on Sunday, June 3, Townley visited the site of the incident and left a marker in memoriam.

“We have been very moved by the folks in Kingston,” said Townley, who lives in Oakville, Ont., and wanted to give a personal shout-out to Katrina and Tim Pater who hosted the 7 Days in May group for dinner at Dianne’s Seafood Smoke Shack, and have continued to stay in touch, as well as to those at the Canadian Cancer Trials Group who have partnered with 7 Days in May for the past six years.

“Everyone has been incredibly warm and caring.”

Kingstonist will follow up with both the OPP and Townley as more information becomes available.

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