Darrel Harder was a 50 year old cyclist on a training ride when he was struck by a left turning vehicle driven by a young man who was distracted while eating a bag of chips. Darrel suffered a severe neck injury which rendered him a quadriplegic. When they next saw one another, in the context of a legal proceeding, the young man was overcome with emotion at the sight of Darrel in his wheelchair. Darrel asked for a moment alone with him, and the two held one another sobbing for 20 minutes.
Darrel urged the young man to forgive himself but the young man said he could not. Darrel never worked again- at the time of the accident he repelled down buildings washing windows and loved his job. Darrel could only dream of riding his bike. Darrel died in 2016 of quadriplegia related complications. His wife Fran’s life was forever altered, as were the lives of all those close to him.
Darrel was a loving and active Canadian man- he gave hope to everyone around him, even when his own circumstances were dark.
He is gone because of one young man’s momentary distraction. That young man’s life will never be the same and he will bear the cross of Darrel’s injury for the rest of his days.