2 Whistler cyclists, 1 passenger killed in crash north of Pemberton
Whistler Cycling Club confirms 2 cyclists killed were experienced club members
Three men are dead after a driver — who police suspect was impaired — struck a group of cyclists on Highway 99 about 50 kilometres northeast of Whistler, B.C. on Sunday.
Pemberton RCMP say a man drove into the group of three cyclists just north of Mount Currie about noon PT, killing two of them along with a male passenger in the vehicle.
The driver was also seriously injured in the crash. An officer accompanied the driver as he was airlifted to a hospital in Vancouver, said RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair.
The third cyclist was not injured in the incident.
Highway 99 was closed for several hours on Sunday while police investigated the crash.
Impaired driving suspected
No charges have been laid but LeClair said reports that the driver was impaired at the time of the crash are based on observations from witnesses and police officers at the scene.
"It's a very serious case," said LeClair. "It's concerning when something like this happens and we want to work to make sure that all the evidence is collected and processed properly."
"We have notified the families of the two cyclists," he said. "We've notified the immediate families and are giving them the opportunity to notify extended family and friends. We have not positively identified the passenger in the vehicle — the deceased passenger."
Whistler Cycling Club members killed
Gary Baker, the vice president of the Whistler Cycling Club, confirmed the two deceased cyclists were members of his club.
He said both were excellent riders and led group rides with the club.
"I just feel hollow, because they're both such great guys," said Baker on Sunday.
Baker said he heard the vehicle may have crossed the centre line and struck the bikers head-on as they descended a steep hill.
"They're coming down at a high rate of speed, the two of them gapped, and all of a sudden he heard a bang and he knew what happened and apparently the driver had crossed the road and hit them," said Baker.
With files from Jeff Harrington