Investigation continues into ‘freak accident’ on Whyte Ave.
Published Monday, August 27, 2012 11:32AM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 28, 2012 1:20PM MDT
Police and emergency crews were on the scene of a fatal collision between a cyclist and a concrete mixer truck on a major south side road Monday morning.
Investigators were called to Whyte Avenue and 101 Street just before 10:30 a.m. after reports of a cyclist being hit by a concrete mixer truck.
According to police on the scene, the cyclist had been headed westbound on the avenue, when the rider attempted to duck under the side view mirror of a parked truck.
Police said the cyclist hit the mirror, and was thrown under the concrete mixer truck.
“[The truck driver] didn’t even realize he had struck the cyclist at the time,” Acting Inspector Erik Johnson said. “Some witnesses had to flag him down and tell him to stop the truck.”
“I heard a crash and then some hollering,” Witness Steven Townsean said. “I came, turned around and looked out the store window and I saw him laying there underneath the wheels of the truck.”
Another witness said they approached the cyclist after the crash – but nothing could be done to help at that point.
The cyclist died on the scene, police said he was 21-years-old.
Officers closed the westbound lanes of Whyte (82) Avenue between 100 Street and Gateway Boulevard for several hours Monday while investigators collected evidence.
The collision happened more than a week after city officials unveiled a new initiative to encourage cycling in the Old Strathcona area – with the addition of ‘bike corrals’.
The busy street this accident happened on is also a city-designated 24-hour truck route.
Hours after the crash happened, a ‘Ghost Bike’ to mark the tragedy was placed on the median of Whyte Avenue, near the place where the collision occurred.
A local society for cyclists said riders need to ensure they’re visible, and sometimes it means riding farther away from parked cars.
“Then you don’t have to swerve around cars, and you’re always visible and predictable,” Chris Chan, Executive Director of the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters’ Society said. “Even if it means the car drivers need to move over farther in order to pass, at least they know where you are.”
Meanwhile, the city is planning to open a ‘bike boulevard’ north of Whyte Avenue.
Until then, police hope a warning will prevent similar tragedies.
Police have not released the identity of the cyclist.
According to police, the concrete mixer truck driver won’t face charges, but the driver of the pickup truck might.
Investigators were seen taking measurements – but at last word it wasn’t clear if the truck was parked too far away from the curb at the time.
With files from Brenna Rose