NEWS

Friends, supporters remember skateboarder killed in Toronto

05/17/2012 08:15 EDT | Updated 07/17/2012 05:12 EDT

Funeral services will be held Monday in Quebec for Ralph Bissonnette who died Monday in Toronto after a collision with a taxi.

The driver of the cab is facing murder charges. .

Bissonnette, 28, an aspiring chef from Coaticook, in Quebec's Eastern Townships, had been riding his skateboard along King Street East in downtown Toronto when he was struck and killed by the taxi.

On Wednesday night longboarders, cyclists and friends — nearly 100 people — gathered in St. James Park, near the site of the accident, to remember Bissonnette.

Those who knew him say his death is still hard to process.

"I know for sure he was going to go to Vancouver this fall — and then after that his plans were to go to Australia and take an executive chef position," said Andres Feist who worked with Bissonnette at the Rosewater Supper Club.

"A very, very good chef, very strong. In the prime of his life. Twenty-eight, you know, it's crazy, crazy," said Mark Cheese, another Toronto chef who knew Bissonnette.

Most of the people at the memorial didn't know him but said they were drawn to the service by the tragic circumstances.

Laura Bigwood, 29, a Toronto longboarder said she felt a need to pay her respects.

So too did 15-year-old skateboarder Alex Perry.

"It's really sad. It really hits the community hard when another longboarder dies," he said.

At the scene of the investigation — near the intersection of Jarvis Street and King Street East — a makeshift memorial has sprung up.

Rob Sydia, another longboarder, said that "anytime you're sharing a road consideration of the other and people around you is the biggest thing we need."

Adib Ibrahim, 43, is charged with second-degree murder. He is in custody and will be back in court next week.

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