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Stephen Hamer says that by not being transparent about how the year-old woman died during the June 23 race, other athletes were left to speculate over what happened. In a brief statement posted to its Facebook a few hours after the fatal incident, Ironman Mont-Tremblant CBC News reported Sunday that year-old Levy Morris had, in fact, died of injuries suffered when she was crushed under the wheels of a support vehicle that had begun collecting road s along Duplessis Road, as the kilometre bike portion of the triathlon was ending.
The Quebec coroner told the triathlete's husband, Ken Morris, the official cause of death was thoracic compression, with several of her internal organs crushed during the impact. It was only eight days later, reading about the story back home in Toronto, that Hamer realized he had witnessed a fatal accident. Hamer had been cycling behind Levy Morris and came upon her with 2. He said Levy Morris was climbing extremely slowly, and it was clear she was struggling.
Weaving left to right to stay upright, she began drifting across the median line on the narrow, two-way road.
Levy Morris was already past the driver's door of the first support vehicle, he said, and the vehicle was moving at "about the speed of a car coming out of a driveway. I could see the bike, she hadn't unclipped or anything. Then I heard a thud and I looked over. She was lying on the ground," Hamer said. At the time, however, he thought the cyclist had simply fallen over, and he didn't understand what had made the noise he heard. He said he never heard Levy Morris call out.
He only heard men's voices when it happened — which le him to believe she simply fainted and slid under the vehicle when she toppled over. So I think she was out cold," he said. He said because Levy Morris had already passed the driver's door when she fell over, he is certain she was out of the driver's line of sight. Hamer said race officials must have known he had been in the vicinity of the accident, because timing mats at the end of the bike course logged the precise moment he crossed over them.
Counting backward, it would have been simple to place him close to the scene of the accident when it happened. He had heard that an athlete had died, but thought that it was a runner who had had a heart attack on the course until he read the CBC News story on Canada Day. In the intervening week, with no update from race organizers on how Levy Morris had died, the rumour mill churned, much of it focused on the driver of the vehicle. Hamer now plans to contact Levy Morris's husband, as well as Mont-Tremblant police, to provide his witness of what happened.
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