TORONTO - Gut-wrenching sobs pierced the air Wednesday as mourners laid flowers and teddy bears on a Toronto street corner to mark the death of a cyclist struck and killed by a truck.
Family and friends of Jenna Morrison held a vigil at the corner of Dundas Street West and Sterling Road, just steps from where the 38-year-old pregnant mother died Monday.
Morrison's spouse Florian Schuck sobbed uncontrollably, leaning heavily on others, while the crowd paid tribute to the yoga instructor.
One friend held up a portrait of a smiling Morrison while another recalled her warmth and spirituality.
"Jenna was not a statistic, she was not a woman of a certain age, a certain height, a certain build," said Carlos Gonzalez-Vio, who was one of the first people to arrive on the scene after the collision.
"Jenna was an old soul, she was a spirit," he said. "Jenna loved without judgment and believed this was the most important human quality."
The memorial took a political slant when some criticized the city's lack of cycling infrastructure, saying it puts cyclists at risk.
Some posted handwritten signs calling for stronger safety measures to protect cyclists on the roads.
"Skirts on trucks and raised, paved bike lanes will save lives!" one read. Another asked: "What would the mayor do?"
"Things need to change and that's becoming more and more clear every day," said Rebecca Campbell, a cyclist who works in a nearby building.
Gonzalez-Vio asked the crowd Wednesday not to focus on blame.
"While the family believes this horrible accident was preventable and is actively seeking answers as to how it occurred, the focus continues to be honouring the life and loss of such a radiant spirit," he said.
About 15 to 20 cyclists die each year in Ontario from injuries suffered on their bikes.
That statistic has prompted Ontario's chief coroner to launch a review of cycling deaths in the province from 2006 to 2010.
Last month, Ottawa cyclist Danielle Nacu died when she was struck by the opened door of a parked car and fell into the path of a passing vehicle.
Friends said Morrison was on her way to pick up her five-year-old son Lucas from senior kindergarten when she was hit.
She was riding between the curb and the truck when she lost her balance while making a right turn, police said Wednesday.
She suffered "massive trauma" and was pronounced dead at the scene, they said.