With a few scrapes, bruises and a broken ankle, Paul O’Callaghan still considers himself lucky.
“It could have been way worse,” said the 57-year-old avid cyclist. “I could have had much more significant injuries.”
On Monday afternoon, O’Callaghan says he was biking home from work — reaching approximately 40 km/hour — on Cedar Hill Cross Road in Saanich.
“It was the time of day where it was really busy,” said the P.E. teacher. “Lots of traffic both directions, single lane both ways, very narrow — and then that one stage I just remember a truck being super close to me.”
The truck was towing a trailer which O’Callaghan said made contact with his bike, forcing him to the road at a high speed.
“The driver did not try to avoid me,” said O’Callaghan.
Saanich Police told CHEK News via email that the collision is still under investigation. No charges have been laid and no tickets have been issued at this time.
One of the first people on the scene was Crystal Bourque, the mother of Kaydence Bourque who was struck and killed at a nearby crosswalk less than three months ago. Bourque lives in the neighbourhood and says she witnessed the collision from her living room.
In a statement, Bourque says she went and knelt by Paul and held his hand and talked to him until paramedics arrived. “I can not describe the relief I felt, he was awake and talking,” said Bourque, adding that she suffers from PTSD from the recent loss of her son.
“This street is walked and biked by many people and countless children,” added Bourque in the statement. “Reduce the speed limit, add signage and speed bumps.”
Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes says a review of Saanich Roads by District of Saanich engineers and Saanich Police is due out by the end of February.
“We’re bringing forward the plan and I believe it will be a plan that addresses these concerns,” said Haynes, calling Cedar Hill Cross Road a main priority. “We will get at this but let’s make sure we put the right solution there.”
Meanwhile, O’Callaghan urges drivers to be more cautious with cyclists on the road and is calling for added measures such as bike lanes on Cedar Hill Cross Road.
“Just to get some safety and some consolation, we’re gonna be in a safe situation,” said O’Callaghan.
Until then, O’Callaghan says he’ll take another route when he’s able to get back on his bike.