Death of Ladysmith in dirt bike: a sister identifies the victim

The sister of a man killed while riding a dirt bike in Ladysmith on Family Day identified him as Simon Tozer, 52, and added her voice to those calling out the recreational shooters who were there in the area at the time to speak to the police.

In a letter published in the Ladysmith Chronicle this week and shared with CTV News, Sarah Bonar provided a more detailed account of what happened near Timberland Forest Service Road on February 21 than police did in his public statements on the case.

Bonar requested that his entire letter be published. It is embedded at the bottom of this article.

According to Bonar, Tozer was riding with his adult son and nephew in single file on a side logging road shortly after 4 p.m. when the incident occurred. She writes that the group was about 1.5 kilometers upriver from the pit where off-road enthusiasts tend to congregate, and 1.2 kilometers downriver from the FortisBC natural gas facility in the region.

Tozer was at the back of the line, and suddenly “fell down”, according to Bonar, who says gunfire had been heard in the area earlier in the afternoon.

Bonar writes that Tozer’s son and nephew noticed what happened “within seconds” and began first aid. Tragically, Tozer died at the scene.

An autopsy confirmed that he died “of a single gunshot wound to the chest”, according to Bonar’s letter.

“No words can describe the horror, shock and pain of this event – it is life changing,” Bonar writes. “Husband, father, son, brother, nephew, cousin, business partner, friend… he meant so much to so many people; he was an exceptional man with so much more to look forward to in life. No words can express the rage we feel. that someone committed suicide so needlessly.”

She asks recreational users of the area to be aware of the danger and asks anyone with information about the case to contact the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crimes Unit.

“We are sharing this information in the hope that no one in our community will have to experience a similar tragedy,” Bonar writes. “If you have any reports of near misses in this area or notice any suspicious activity, please report it to the RCMP.”

The full text of Bonar’s letter follows.