‘He just took off’: Cyclist hit by driver in Oak Bay left with potential cracked rib, $1,100 bike damages

'He just took off': Cyclist hit by driver in Oak Bay left with potential cracked rib, $1,100 bike damages
Curtis Clarke (right) says a witness took a picture as the driver who hit him left the scene. (Photo courtesy of Curtis Clarke)

A cyclist who suffered injuries and sustained major damage to his bike when he was struck by a driver in Oak Bay says he believes he was targeted.

Oak Bay Police say they were called to a hit and run on Beach Drive near Estevan Avenue on April 14 around 6:15 p.m.

Curtis Clarke, the cyclist, told CHEK News he was biking along Beach Drive when he began hearing honking.

“I heard this honking and at first I thought it was in my music,” Clarke said. “Then it was getting louder and louder and so I did a shoulder check to my left and noticed a car one to two feet off of my back tire and it just startled me. You’re not expecting to see something like that, and he’s honking his horn and his arms are flailing.”

Clarke says as a knee-jerk reaction, he pressed on his brakes, but the driver continued coming toward him.

“He just had the craziest look on his face and he just kept going,” Clarke said. “He got out of his vehicle and just started screaming about how he’s so sick of cyclists thinking that they own the road and just a parade of swear words, and so I called 911.”

“He just took off. And yeah, I was quite shaken up.”

Clarke says he believes the driver intentionally hit him, given the honking leading up to the crash and the driver’s behaviour after Clarke was hit.

Oak Bay Police say they later found the 60-year-old male driver at his home.

Officers conducted an impaired driving investigation, then following the investigation he was issued a 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibition, a 24 hour driving prohibition, and a violation ticket for failing to remain at the scene of a collision.

Oak Bay Police, in an email, said the 24-hour driving prohibition gives officers the authority to tow an impound the vehicle for 24 hours.

The 90-day prohibition was issued later at the police station after breath tests were taken.

Clarke says he wasn’t aware the driver had been impaired and learned about that through the media.

“For someone to be that full of rage for no reason whatsoever and to use their vehicle as like a weapon,” Clarke said. “It almost makes me feel better knowing that it’s not somebody that’s in their right mind.”

He says Oak Bay Police told him they are not investigating whether the hit was intentional, as impaired driving is the “easiest conviction” and proving an intentional hit would be more challenging.

Although an earlier news release says Clarke did not sustain any injuries or damage to his bike, he says he is awaiting the results of x-rays because he believes he cracked a rib.

“I just got off the phone with the bike shop. There’s over $1,100 in damage,” Clarke said. “The wheel was bent because he literally drove over it, and there’s other parts that were damaged.”

He has been in touch with ICBC, and says he believes the costs will be paid through the driver’s insurance.

“I was told from the adjuster, as well as kind of the bike shop that I bought it and get it serviced that  it’s not like it was I was at fault for anything,” Clarke said. “So it’s got a claim number and it most likely will just be going through his insurance.”

Clarke says his family is happy he is safe and that overall it wasn’t too serious.

“I think the biggest thing is probably the kind of the anxiety of like going back on the road. I will obviously,” Clarke said. “I think I’m gonna be just not quite as comfortable. It’s gonna take me a while to kind of get comfortable again and not be looking over my shoulder and see if there’s an enraged maniac.”

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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