Emergency crews, including an air ambulance, rushed to the highway at the north end of Nanaimo a cyclist was struck by a vehicle.
Crews were alerted a little before 11:45 a.m. Friday, May 27, to the incident, which involved a pickup truck and a bicycle, at the convergence of the Nanaimo Parkway and the old Island Highway north of Woodgrove Centre.
RCMP, B.C. Ambulance Service and Lantzville Fire Rescue crews responded to the scene.
Witnesses to the collision told police the cyclist was proceeding northbound and appeared to be attempting to merge to the right side of the highway when he was struck by a truck that was also proceeding north, according to a Nanaimo RCMP press release.
The 70-year-old injured male cyclist was initially treated at the scene by an off-duty paramedic and nurse until emergency health services personnel arrived. He was then airlifted to hospital in Victoria with serious but unknown injuries.
According to his riding companion, the cyclists were travelling through Nanaimo as part of a long-distance bike trip and were changing lanes when the collision occurred. They had started in Seattle and were riding to Port Hardy to catch a ferry to Prince Rupert, from where they’d planned to ride across Canada, according to the riding companion. He also said his companion was conscious before he was loaded into the air ambulance and would likely be OK.
Northbound lanes of the Island Highway were closed to allow the air ambulance to land just north of the scene and were slated to be closed for one or two hours for investigation and traffic was being detoured through Lantzville.
The driver of the truck remained at the scene. Police were able to rule out drugs and alcohol as contributing factors, the RCMP release noted. The truck involved, an older model GMC pickup, was towed and will undergo a mechanical inspection.
Investigators are asking for any motorists who have not spoken with police and may have dash cam video or eye witness evidence to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, and quote file No. 2022-17813.
RCMP, Lantzville Fire Rescue, BC Ambulance on scene cyclist struck northbound lanes Island Hwy north of Woodgrove Centre. No word on injuries. Northbound lanes highway closed.#Nanaimo #Traffic @NanaimoBulletin pic.twitter.com/H8OpqIaFh9
— Chris Bush (@ChrisBushphotog) May 27, 2022