A participant prepares to release one of turtles into the Maitland River. Photo by Marty Thompson.

Cycling Crash Victim Honoured Through Turtle Release

A ceremonial turtle release took place in Wingham Wednesday in honour of a cyclist who sustained serious injuries after being hit by a car three weeks ago.

Around 130 turtles were released into the Maitland River as part of a fundraiser for Julie Sawchuk – a cyclist who was struck by a car on Blyth Road on July 29.

The turtles were released in conjunction with the Huron Stewardship Council and Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority.

The high school teacher is in London hospital being treated for a broken back and broken ribs.

“Last year she spotted a spotted a snapping turtle that had been hit by a vehicle,” Selena Hazlett, Julie’s friend, told CKNX News while the turtles were being released, “ She knew through her science connections to contact the Huron Stewardship Council. They had to put the turtle down, but they were able to save eggs from it. I believe this past spring is when her and her class brought the turtles down and released them.”

Over $18,000 has been raised for Sawchuk’s recovery through this crowd-sourcing page.

Sawchuk’s blog can be found here.

A 47-year-old Dungannon man has been charged with failing to turn left to avoid a collision with a bicycle in connection to the case.