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Man in 2012 hit-and-run that killed cyclist could face year in jail

Miguel Oliveira, far left, walks with defence lawyer Calvin Barry on Dec. 21, 2015. CITYNEWS/Marianne Boucher.

A driver accused of a hit-and-run that killed a Toronto cyclist in 2012 could face 12 to 18 months in jail.

Miguel Oliveira, 22, pleaded guilty last May and will be in court to face sentencing on Jan. 12. In addition to jail time, he’s facing two years of probation and a driving ban for five years.

“I would like to apologize,” Oliveira said, crying in court on Monday. “I take full responsibility.”

Tom Samson, 35, was hit by two vans on Davenport Road at Lansdowne Avenue, while riding his bike to work in on Nov. 23, 2012. He later died in hospital.

Samson was a married father of two and a popular Grade 2 teacher at Swansea Junior and Senior Public School. He taught at the school for eight years.

Oliveira was on his way to work as a landscaper when he hit Samson. Thirty hours after the incident, he turned himself in. He was charged with failing to stop at the scene of an accident causing death.

Had Oliveira stayed at crash scene there would have been no charges, Defence lawyer Calvin Barry explained in court on Monday.

Victim impact statements were read in court.

“Tom was irreplaceable,” Samson’s widow said. “I can’t flip pancakes and sing silly songs like Tom did. He was a teacher. His class was told he was killed. I lost my best and dearest friend.”

“I was a cyclist, I gave up commuting on bike because my wife is terrified for me,” Samson’s dad Uri Samson said. “Now I walk or drive. I hate the gym but now I have to go to the gym to be strong enough to pick up my fatherless grandchildren. I think about death all the time. Nothing can bring him back.”

Tom Samson's parents, Gita and Uri Samson, leave court, on Dec. 21. 2015. CITYNEWS/Marianne Boucher.
Tom Samson’s parents, Gita and Uri Samson, leave court, on Dec. 21. 2015. CITYNEWS/Marianne Boucher.


Barry said Oliveira has been on a strict house arrest living with his parents, according to his bail release conditions.

The driver of the other van is not facing any charges.