09/03/2014 11:53 EDT | Updated 09/04/2014 12:59 EDT

Graeme Loader Dies While Cycling Across Canada For The WWF (PHOTOS)


A 24-year-old cyclist who was riding his bike across Canada to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) was killed after being hit by an SUV outside Brandon, Man. on Monday.

Toronto's Graeme Loader had flown out to Vancouver with his bike on July 15 to start a charity ride to St. John's, N.L.

But tragedy struck only two weeks into the ride, when a vehicle going in the same direction hit him at around 8 p.m. on Monday, Global News reported.

Neither the driver nor three passengers in the SUV were hurt. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash.

Loader had made his last Facebook post on the day of the crash.

In it he said, "It's incredible what can happen when you accept the unexpected and embrace every moment."

"Graeme was a super passionate guy," friend Josh Bissell told CBC News. "He had a passion for the earth and for documenting it and for enjoying it as much as he could."

A fundraising page associated with Loader's ride showed that he had raised over $11,000 toward a $15,000 goal as of Wednesday. His interest in raising money focused on WWF's efforts to protect endangered species and their habitats.

"Using the best available scientific knowledge, we work to preserve the diversity and abundance of life in Canada and around the world. We find long-term solutions that benefit both people and nature," he wrote on his fundraising page.

Loader, who was also a landscape photographer, posted some spectacular photos from his trip on his Instagram account.

"WWF-Canada is incredibly saddened by the loss of this energetic, talented, and wonderful young man," president and CEO David Miller said in a statement.

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