British Columbia

White 'ghost bike' marks Kelowna cycling fatality

The Kelowna Area Cycling Coalition has put up a white-painted 'ghost bike' to mark the death of a 50-year-old man who was killed last Friday when he was hit by a commercial truck at an intersection.

A 50-year-old cyclist died last Friday after he was struck and run over by a commercial truck

A white-painted 'ghost bike' marks the spot where a cyclist died after he was hit by a commercial truck at an intersection in Kelowna, B.C. (Brady Strachan)

The Kelowna Area Cycling Coalition has put up a white-painted 'ghost bike' to mark the death of a 50-year-old man who was killed last Friday when he was hit by a commercial truck at an intersection.

The cyclist was travelling westbound on Baron Road last Friday afternoon and passing traffic on the right, according to RCMP Cst. Jesse O'Donaghey.

"The commercial vehicle was making a turn from Baron Road right onto Banks Road at the time," he said.

"Unfortunately the commercial vehicle collided with the cyclist and tragically had driven over top of the cyclist causing very serious fatal injuries at the scene."  

Police are waiting on a report from a collision reconstructionist to determine what actually took place, said O'Donaghey.

"It could have been an error where the driver simply didn't see the cyclist approaching the intersection," he said.

"It sounds like the driver made some efforts to clear pedestrians in the intersection and may have not seen the cyclist approaching on the right side."

The cyclist was not wearing a helmet. 

O'Donaghey said it's unclear if a helmet would have prevented the fatal injuries.

Ghost bike

Kelowna Area Cycling Coalition vice president Landon Bradshaw placed a white-painted 'ghost bike' at the intersection on Saturday as a memorial marker.

"Sadly, one of the things we have to take away is this is the third cyclist death in less than a year," he said.

"On average it has been reported that B.C. has 10 cycling deaths a year. We have 30 percent of those and we are a small portion of the province itself. Maybe we need to look at things."

Streets and roads in Kelowna need to be better marked to draw drivers' attention to people riding bikes, said Bradshaw.

Baron Road, where the fatality occurred, has a designated bike lane but the white line marking the lane has worn off for a distance of about 20 meters leading up to the intersection.

"It's scary. Knowing now what can happen here, let's go ahead and put some green (bike lanes) on it," he said.

"If we can get more of those green lanes out there, we can get drivers to say, 'Oh, that's where a cyclist might be. I need to take a little bit of extra precaution to make sure I've shoulder checked to the right.'" 

Authorities have not released the name of the cyclist who died.

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