The family of Kartik Saini is still in disbelief over the 20-year-old’s death last Wednesday.
“It’s definitely a huge loss for our family,” said Ravi Saini, Kartik’s cousin.
“We are not able to digest this. We still believing he is alive…. So this is the most painful thing.”
Saini said his cousin moved from India to Canada in September 2021 to continue his education.
“He was very passionate about his studies and education and his prosperous career,” he said.
“He’s a very sincere guy…. His nature is to meet new people and to make new friends.”
Kartik was a student in Sheridan College’s computer systems technician program. He was also working as a security guard.
“We’re deeply saddened by the death of Kartik, and extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, peers and professors,” said Keiko Kataoka, spokesperson for the college.
Kartik was killed in a collision at the intersection of Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
His cousin said Kartik was on his way home from work when the collision happened.
Police initially said a pedestrian was struck and had become trapped under the vehicle. In an update at the scene, it was confirmed the victim was a cyclist.
Toronto fire officials told Global News the victim was pronounced dead, and work was underway to extricate him by lifting the vehicle, a pickup truck.
Police later confirmed that a white Ford F250 pickup truck had struck the cyclist and “continued northbound on Yonge Street with the bike and cyclist lodged underneath the vehicle.”
The driver remained on scene.
Police said no charges have been laid and the investigation remains ongoing.
A memorial bike ride has been organized by community members at Matt Cohen Park on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
“It’s important that no cyclist rides alone,” said Joey Schwartz, an organizer with Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists.
“(We will) install the ghost bike and from that point we will do a moment of silence.”
Advocates, community members renew calls for safe streets following death of cyclist
Saini said Kartik’s family’s primary focus is bringing Kartik’s body back home to India.
“First and foremost priority for the family is to bring Kartik back to India so that we can pay our last tribute to him and we can see him for the last time,” he said.
“Only now, we are left with his memory.”
— with files from Global News’ Hannah Jackson.
&© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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