British Columbia

Cyclist in critical condition after colliding with van near Victoria

Saanich Police say a 42-year-old man from Calgary lost control of his bike on a winding road that is popular with cyclists.

Collision occurred on rural road that is popular with cyclists in Capital region

A cyclist from Calgary suffered critical injuries in a crash with a van on Prospect Lake Road in rural Saanich on Tuesday. (CHEK News)

Police on Vancouver Island say a cyclist involved in a crash on a rural road is in hospital in critical condition.

The crash happened around 2 p.m. Tuesday on a winding section of road in rural Saanich.

Saanich Police said the Calgary man, 42, was riding with a group of cyclists from Alberta.

Investigators said he lost control of his bike on a sharp turn on Prospect Lake Road at Munn Road and slid into a van that was travelling in the opposite direction.

He was rushed to hospital, where he is listed in critical condtion. Police say his family has been notified and were travelling to Victoria to be with him.

The crash is raising questions about cycling safety on rural roads in Saanich, which are popular with road cycling enthusiasts but largely do not have safety infrastructure for bikes.

Popular cycling route

"In rural Saanich, it's an issue when you don't have dedicated bike lanes. You don't have dedicated sidewalks for pedestrians, and vehicles can often be travelling at a high rate of speed," said Dean Murdock, a Saanich city councillor.

"Obviously situations like we saw [Tuesday] are a reminder of just how challenging it can be to navigate that road for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers. Of course it is a major concern."

Saanich continues to work to secure right-of-way access for trails that can help keep bikes and cars separated, Murdock said.

Investigators said the driver of the vehicle involved in Tuesday's crash was not at fault and speed was not a factor.

It is the second collision involving a cyclist in rural Saanich in the past month.

Police continue to investigate an alleged hit and run on Willis Point Road that injured a competitive teenage cyclist.

With files from On The Island