Fake News: Man Knocked Down by Vehicle in Toronto NOT Identified As Rugby Union coach Ben Ryan (or Lawrence Sichalwe or Sanath Jayasuriya or Kenneth Duremdes)

Hoax Alert

  • by: Maarten Schenk

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fake News: Man Knocked Down by Vehicle in Toronto NOT Identified As Rugby Union coach Ben Ryan (or Lawrence Sichalwe or Sanath Jayasuriya or Kenneth Duremdes)

Was a man knocked down by a vehicle in Toronto identified as Rugby Union coach Ben Ryan or Lawrence Sichalwe or Sanath Jayasuriya or Kenneth Duremdes? And did he later die in hospital? No, that's not true: a fake news site that appears to be recycling the same death hoax but with different people made the claim but Ben Ryan denied rumors of his own death on Twitter shortly afterward.

The story originated from an article published by CBTV on June 5, 2019 titled "Man knocked down by vehicle in Toronto identified as rugby union coach Ben Ryan - Latest News" (archived here) which opened:

Man who was knocked down by a Honda Civic vehicle at the Toronto Mall last night sadly dies in hospital.
He passed away this morning - after sustaining serious injuries following the incident yesterday.
The man has been identified as Ben Ryan, English rugby union coach.

The British High Commission in Canada has confirmed the identity of the 47 year old who won double honour at
The Telegraph Sports Book Awards, and said they were aware of his visit to Toronto, Canada.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Man knocked down by vehicle in Toronto identified as rugby union coach Ben Ryan - Latest News

Man who was knocked down by a Honda Civic vehicle at the Toronto Mall last night sadly dies in hospital. He passed away this morning - after sustaining serious injuries following the incident yesterday. The man has been identified as Ben Ryan, English rugby union coach. The British High Commission in Canada has confirmed the ...

Ryan denied his own death on Twitter:

The site that ran the hoax apparently also ran the same story about cricket commentator Adam Gilchrist, Zambian Minister Lawrence Sichalwe, Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya and retired Filipino basketball player Kenneth Duremdes. We later also found the same hoax being spread about Luton Shelton and Desmond Tutu.

Updates:

  • 2019-06-07T11:53:07Z 2019-06-07T11:53:07Z
    Added links to same story about Luton Shelton and Desmond Tutu.
  • 2019-06-06T09:28:10Z 2019-06-06T09:28:10Z
    Same hoax was also run about Adam Gilchrist

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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