Thursday, November 21, 2013
Adrian “Dudz” Dudzicki: Elite Canadian squash player killed cycling to training facility
The 23-year-old, identified by friends as Adrian “Dudz” Dudzicki, was riding across Sheppard Ave. W. at Kodiak Cr. when he was struck by a westbound BMW just after 9:30 a.m., Toronto Police said.
“The cyclist came off his bike and was thrown to the ground,” Const. Clint Stibbe said. “He suffered massive injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.”
The BMW driver was arrested and charges are pending, he said.
Gary Waite, principal owner of the National Squash Academy, was at the nearby Esso station when he spotted the BMW with its smashed windshield and two squash rackets on the road.
“It happened just a few minutes earlier,” he said, adding he was shocked when he realized the victim was Dudzicki.
Waite, also an accomplished squash player, said Dudzicki was a coach at the NSA in nearby Downsview Park and was heading there when he was killed.
“I’ve hit a lot of balls with him and we’ve had lots of long chats,” he said, explaining he has trained, and trained with, Dudzicki for more than four years.
“He was a very hard working young man,” Waite said, adding the up-and-coming squash player dedicated his life to the game he loved and was always striving to improve.
Dudzicki, a recent University of Ottawa graduate, played on the Canadian Squash Tour and the Professional Squash Tour.
The PSA’s website shows he was currently ranked 269th in the world but has been ranked as high as 136.
“He won the Ontario Championships last year,” Waite said. “So he would have been ranked in the top 16 in Canada after that.”
He said the mood at the NSA was “sombre” as news of the death spread.
The twitterverse was also flooded with condolence messages from those who knew Dudzicki.
“A horrible loss for the squashing community ... many great memories with you on the tour! Will miss you dudz,” tweeted Robert Downer.
Dudzicki is Toronto’s 54th traffic fatality of 2013 — a five-year high for the city.
Stibbe urged motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to “take a second, even if you have the right of way.”
“It may just save your life,” he said.
Anyone with information regarding this incident should call traffic services at 416-808-1900 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
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