Canada

‘He was a hero’: Family says Ottawa man killed in fatal collision sacrificed himself

The family of an Ottawa man killed in a Canada Day crash in the west end says Tom Bergeron died exactly as he lived: selflessly thinking of others before himself. 

Bergeron wasn’t able to avoid the Friday morning crash, but did all he could to ensure everyone else survived, according to the family.

“My dad swerved his arm just enough that that car would take the impact right on him directly, so that my daughter would still be here today,” Aime Bergeron, his daughter said. 

Bergeron was travelling with his wife of 47 years, his daughter, and his eight-year-old granddaughter Ryleigh. 

The family was heading out to get sparklers on Canada Day, when their minivan collided with a pickup truck hauling a trailer, allegedly filled with cement bricks, at the intersection of Baseline Road and Merivale Road.  

“He died on impact, he didn’t suffer,” Aime Bergeron continued. 

“He was a hero. He turned that car in just a split second to save my daughter, to save his wife, and to save me, his three girls. He saved us.” 

Bergeron’s actions are not a surprise to his family. They say he was always a selfless man, delivering food to friends and family in need, and caring for those around him. 

Tom Bergeron with his granddaughter Ryleigh. Tom Bergeron was killed in a two-vehicle crash in Ottawa’s west end on Canada Day. (Submitted)

He was a loving husband and father, but it was his Ryleigh who captured his heart. 

The pair were inseparable troublemakers and best friends. 

“He would get in that bed with my daughter and she would roll over him and they would watch TV together and munch snacks. He gave every day for that little girl,” Aime Bergeron said.  

Ottawa Police are investigating the collision and are asking anyone who witnessed the crash or who may have dash cam footage to contact them. 

A GoFundMe fundraising campaign has been created to support the Bergeron family, but their message to others is to always be aware while behind the wheel.  

“It’s not a toy, it hurts, it hurts and it kills, just be safe on the road,” Bergeron said. 

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