British Columbia

1 cyclist dead, 2 seriously injured after Richmond, B.C. crash

At least one cyclist has died in a crash involving a total of six cyclists near a popular bikeway on River Road in Richmond B.C. Two people are in serious condition.

'I heard the bang and then I heard the screaming and then silence,' says nearby resident

Emergency officials responded to a crash involving a car and multiple cyclists on River Road in Richmond, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 6 2016. The crash claimed the life of one person and seriously injured two. (Curtis Kreklau)

A 33-year-old Vancouver cyclist has died in a violent crash near a popular bikeway on River Road in Richmond, B.C

Six cyclists — all male —were involved in a collision Sunday morning with a black Lexus that sent several bicycles flying into a ditch.

A 39-year-old from Vancouver is in critical condition in Royal Columbian Hospital while a 46-year-old, also from Vancouver, is listed in serious condition there.

"The remaining three cyclists suffered minor injuries," said a release from Richmond RCMP.

"They are badly shaken up," RCMP Cpl. Jay Colville said in an earlier interview. "A couple of bikes landed on the opposite side of the ditch."

Cpl. Colville said the car hit at least one bike.

"The (bike) the deceased was riding, yes there was a great deal of damage," he said.

In the statement, RCMP Cpl. Dennis Hwang said the collision scene was a "difficult" one for officers to investigate.

 "To put it into some perspective, the carbon fiber frame and forks on one of the bikes was snapped in multiple places like twigs or matchsticks," Hwang wrote.

At least one bike was hit by a car in an accident that sent bikes flying into the nearby ditch, says Richmond RCMP Cpl. Jay Colville. (Meera Bains/CBC)

Resident hears 'bang'

A woman who lives near the crash area, which was taped off by RCMP, heard the impact.

Connie Provencher said she was inside her home reading when she heard a disturbing sound around 10 or 10:30 a.m. PT.

"I heard the bang and then I heard the screaming and then silence," Provencher, 60, said. "It was just instant. The bang and then the scream and then nothing."

The black Lexus involved in the crash has damage to its front left side and windshield. (Curtis Kreklau)

The Richmond resident has seen accidents on River Road in the same area.

"It seemed so close to me. It was just such a loud boom and then the screaming," she said.

Cyclist Jeffrey Hsu was riding on River Road Sunday, a few minutes behind the group that was involved in the crash.

"As I approached the end of the River Road, I saw a damaged black car in the middle of the road," he said in a Facebook message exchange.

"Then one of the riders from that group ran out onto the road and waved at us to tell us not to proceed any further.

"So I stood at the side of the road for a few minutes in shock cause I knew it was really serious."

At that point, the driver approached Hsu to ask if he could use his cellphone to make a call because the battery in his was out of power.

River Road was blocked in both directions as RCMP investigated the accident. (Meera Bains/CBC)

Hsu said the driver appeared shocked and confused as he spoke with his mother on the phone about the accident.

He said he does not know any of the victims.

The male driver of the car, which collided with at least one bike, remained on the scene and is cooperating, police said.

"The sole occupant driver of the Lexus, a 19-year old male from Burnaby, is unhurt and was present when officers arrived," said police in the release. 

Police investigated a crash involving cyclists on River Road in Richmond, B.C. (Meera Bains/CBC)

Police do not know what caused the crash and all the cyclists appeared to be wearing their helmets. 

Meanwhile Colville urged cyclists who use that stretch of road to be careful because accidents have occurred there in the past. He urged cyclists to ride in single file.

Police say this is the second fatality they have investigated in Richmond within the past week.

With files from Meera Bains