British Columbia

Patricia Keenan, Kelowna cyclist, mourned after fatal crash into car door

Friends and family are mourning the death of a cyclist in Kelowna, B.C. who died after crashing into a car door.

Cycling advocate says death highlights need for safer conditions and more driver education

Kelowna, B.C. cyclist Patricia Keenan died after she hit the door of a parked car that suddenly opened.

Friends and family are mourning the death of a Kelowna, B.C. woman who died last week after crashing into a car door.

On July 14, Patricia Keenan was cycling behind a friend on Bernard Avenue, towards the city's downtown, when someone suddenly opened the driver's side door of a parked car. 

Keenan, 38, slammed into the door and, despite wearing a helmet, sustained serious head injuries. She died in hospital two days later. 

Keenan had a 10-year-old son. 

"That is such a terrible waste. It's so sad for a young mother to come to her demise in this fashion," said Keenan's neighbour Hans Kruiswyk. 

Getting 'doored' common, advocate says

Cycling advocates say the community has a long way to go to make city streets safe for bike riders.

Kelowna Cycling Coalition spokesman Landon Bradshaw told CBC News that getting "doored" by motorists who have not checked their mirrors is a serious issue for cyclists. 

"It is not a bizarre occurrence," said Bradshaw. "It's happened to me. I know plenty of cyclists that it's happened to."

Bradshaw said he believes conditions have improved for cyclists on the streets of Kelowna, in B.C.'s Okanagan region, in recent years. But he said more driver education is needed to prevent similar tragedies. 

With files from Brady Strachan