British Columbia

Cyclist's speed a 'primary contributor' in Kamloops crash: RCMP

RCMP have concluded that an accident that left a Kamloops man in critical care was not the fault of the vehicle driver involved in the crash.

Investigation found the commercial vehicle driver was not at fault

A sign along the multi-use path on Highland Road warns cyclists of the presence of trucks. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)

RCMP say an accident that left a Kamloops, B.C., man in critical care at Vancouver General Hospital was not the fault of the vehicle driver involved in the crash.

Last month, cyclist Andrew van der Westhuizen collided with a commercial truck that was crossing a multi-use path in the Juniper neighbourhood of the interior B.C. city.

"The speed of the cyclist appears to be the primary contributor to the collision," RCMP Cpl. Crystal Evelyn said Tuesday, after the municipal traffic unit concluded its investigation.

"Our thoughts go out to all those involved in this unfortunate situation."

Cycling safety concerns remain

The posted speed limit along the pathway is 20 km/h, but one cycling advocate said that speed isn't realistic for most cyclists.

"I seriously question how that speed was determined considering the length and grade of the multi-use path and that it is separated from the rest of traffic," said Cheryl Fraser, advocate and founder of the Kamloops Cycling Coalition.

"At 20 km/h, [you] would have to be pushing pretty hard and [using] brakes [the] entire way down."

Signage indicates the multi-use path's speed limit of 20 km/h. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)

Fraser said the crash should be seen as a call to action.

"Some very serious conversations need to be happening at the local government level on prioritizing a culture that values cyclists and shows that they're very equal member on the road."

The city of Kamloops is looking at reducing the number of crashes on area roads through its Vision Zero strategy. Details of the proposed plan will go before city council this fall.

The family of van der Westhuizen told CBC they did not wish to comment on the RCMP's investigative findings. 


Jenifer Norwell

Story Producer

Jenifer Norwell has been working with CBC since 2008. She's worked in Prince George, Vancouver, Sudbury and now makes her home in her hometown of Kamloops. She works with CBC Kamloops and with Daybreak Kamloops.