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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Man in court following death of tragic Adrian

Lee Hortonhttps://squashmad.com
Former Sun, Mirror, People and Sunday Express sports executive. Knows a bit about newspapers and the art of talking a good game. Brighter than some but a way to go to match others.

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A man has been charged with dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death following the tragic loss of young Canadian squash star  Adrian Dudzicki on Wednesday.

Aleksey Aleksev appeared in court yesterday and was granted bail with conditions including that he not be in the driver’s seat of any vehicle.

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Artist impression of Aleksey Aleksev in court

Police investigating the case are asking for the six people who assisted Dudzicki at the scene to contact police at 416-808-1900, or through Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS.

Squash players around the world  have paid tribute to Adrian who died early Wednesday when a vehicle struck him as he rode his bicycle to the National Squash Academy.

Squash Canada Executive Director, Danny Da Costa indicated: “We lost one of our own today, a great young man with a bright future in the game of squash, and he will be sorely missed around the squash courts”.

Dudzicki was an accomplished up and coming player on the national scene.  In 2012, Dudzicki reached a career high #9 in Canada in the Men’s Open singles rankings and reached a career high No.136 on thePSA World Rankings, he was also a member of Squash Canada’s Espoir squad and captured the Ontario Singles Squash Championship.

He also represented Canada at the 2010 World University Games in Melbourne, Australia and was the Canadian University & College Champion in 2010 while attending the University of Ottawa. Squash Canada President, Lolly Gillen said, “words alone can not sincerely express the condolences Squash Canada wishes to share with the Dudzicki family and the multitude of Adrian’s friends.

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” Losing a popular aspiring athlete at such a tender age with so much potential, dedication and commitment to fulfilling his dreams of becoming one of our top players has left a huge whole in us all.  The entire Canadian squash community is totally numb and it will take considerable time to recover from the effects of this tragedy”.

Born in Latina, Italy, Adrian  was raised in the Ottawa area where he grew up playing squash at the Ottawa Athletic Club under the direction of squash-professional Johnny Wilson.

Wilson said, “He was my student, my friend and in many ways my teacher. He was a true free spirit who lived his life the way he wanted. He was admired. He was loved and will be deeply missed. Adrian will very much want his friends, family and the squash world to celebrate his life and share his philosophy to enjoy life and to enjoy the moment”.

For the past few years, Dudzicki based himself in the Toronto Area, training at National Centre of Excellence – National Squash Academy under the direction of Squash Canada Performance Director, Jamie Hickox. Hickox indicated: “Adrian was like a son to coach and friend Johnny Wilson. Working in Ottawa, Johnny met Adrian at the tender age of 12 years and found the young lad to be a bit of a lost soul.

“This is when their squash journey began. And what a journey! Adrian became a hard working and gritty squash pro who was ready to take on the world. He recently took time off the game with the intention to work and save enough money to fuel a run at the Professional Squash Association (PSA) in the New Year. A gentle and intelligent man the community has lost a bright light and a kid who had every chance to make his mark on the world squash scene.”

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Pictures released by police who are seeking witnesses to the accident that killed Adrian

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After revealing that a driver had been arrested,  police spokesman  Const. Clint Stibbe added: “He suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene,.The driver of the vehicle has been arrested and is currently at traffic services facing charges.”

Adrian was identified by a friend Jay Fleishman who said of his squash buddy. “He was on his way to the National Squash Academy where he trains and plays squash on a regular basis. He’s going to be sadly missed.”

The National Squash Academy is located at Downsview Park, a short distance from the collision scene. Fleishman described Dudzicki as a well-liked, sweet, caring and smart man “who had a bright future.” He said Dudzicki, who lived near Finch Avenue and Dufferin Street, played on the Canadian Squash Tour as well as the Professional Squash Tour and was among the Top 10 squash players in Canada and among the top 150 in the world.

“He was training to make his way up the ladder in the Professional Squash Tour,” Fleishman said at the crash scene. “He did win the Ontario closed championships last year.” Fleishman said he rushed to the scene after being notified by text message that Dudzicki was involved in the collision. “Adrian was an inspiring person for young kids,” he said.

“He helped a lot of kids develop their skills in squash.” Stibbe, of traffic services, said the cyclist was crossing Sheppard from the north side on the west side of the intersection. “The cyclist would’ve had the right of way,” he said, noting “speed may be a factor in this collision…there are possibly other factors involved, but it’s not alcohol.”

 

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3 Comments

  1. So sad to hear this news – I met Adrian last year when I was over in Canada on business. I made my way down to the squash centre one night and joined in on a few games… even managed to get a game with Adrian, who obviously took me apart 🙂

    He made me so welcome and seemed like a really nice young guy as well as a great player. RIP.

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