Loved ones of Kenny McEldowney are still trying to come to grips with his sudden, violent death while late-night cycling over the weekend.
The 58-year-old Windsor resident was on his bike when he was fatally struck by a vehicle that then left the scene.
“It killed him,” said David McEldowney, a nephew to the deceased. “His spine was broken in multiple places. He had a very serious brain-bleed… He had no luck.”
The list of injuries suffered included fractured ribs, collapsed lungs, and a gaping leg wound.
Police said the collision happened around 11:45 pm on March 25 on Wyandotte Street West near Crawford Avenue.
According to Ken McEldowney’s family, he was riding on the south side of the street, heading east, and was going over the bridge towards Caron Avenue when the impact occurred.
David said his uncle was rushed to hospital, but the damage was too great. Ken McEldowney succumbed to his injuries on March 26 around 6 pm
“All of us spent all day at that hospital, because we knew he wasn’t going to make it,” David said, his voice straining with emotion.
The car that hit McEldowney did not remain in the area. It was last seen continuing south on Janette Avenue. Police obtained a description of the driver and the suspect vehicle — a red 2014 Chevy Sonic. They also had the license plate number.
About 45 minutes later, Windsor police located the driver at an establishment in the 300 block of Mill Street, in the city’s west end. Officers also seized the suspect vehicle.
As of Monday afternoon, police have not disclosed if charges have been laid, and have not named the accused.
But David McEldowney said the family has learned the driver is an adult female. “They arrested her… at a bar. She ran my uncle down and then went to the bar.”
The investigation continues. The scene was examined by Windsor police traffic reconstruction specialists, forensics officers and members of the Major Crime Unit.
Police would like to speak with anyone who was in the area of Wyandotte Street West between Crawford Avenue and Janette Avenue at the time of the incident, as well as anyone was on Janette Avenue south of Wyandotte Street West, or in the 300 block of Mill Street.
Surveillance camera or dash cam video recordings are especially sought for potential evidence.
Traffic investigators can be reached at 519-255-6700 ext. 4000. Anonymous tips can be made via Crime Stoppers at 519-258-8477 or www.catchcrooks.com.
Amanda McEldowney, a niece of Kenny McEldowney, said her uncle rode his bike everywhere, and he was heading that night to a pool session with family at the House of Pong on Ouellette Avenue.
“He loved to play pool,” Amanda said. “He was going to meet his brother and my other cousin, his nephew. They did it all the time together.”
Amanda said her uncle’s remains have been transported to the London Health Sciences Center for a post-mortem examination due to the criminal nature of the case.
Meanwhile, the McEldowneys are memorializing a man known as the “problem solver” of the family.
“Didn’t matter how big or small the problem was, didn’t matter how long it took to solve,” Amanda said. “He fixed it. That’s what I want everyone to remember about him. How much he loved his family.”
Treasured by his relations as a handyman and a “jack-of-all-trades,” Ken McEldowney had experience with drywall, framing, flooring, plumbing, electrical systems, and property maintenance.
David said the family is still in shock. “Uncle Kenny wasn’t sick. He was not a drug addict or anything like that. This should never have happened. We never expected anything like this.”
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Kenny McEldowney is survived by stepchildren and many extended family members.
Arrangements are in the process of being made with Victoria Greenlawn Funeral Home and Cemetery, where McEldowney’s father and other family members have been buried.
A GoFundMe campaign has been started by Amanda to help with the funeral costs.
“Unfortunately, my uncle did not have any life insurance policy and we are now left with the financial burden of properly laying him to rest,” Amanda wrote.
She also wrote on Facebook: “I still find it hard to accept he won’t be around anymore. I find it even harder to accept that someone took his life, leaving him to die. I just can’t accept that as reality.”
“We will get justice for my uncle and I really hope my entire family finds a way to make it through this long journey.”