A young woman has died from her injuries after a collision Friday night at Gorge Road and Harriet Street.
Police were delayed in confirming the cyclist’s death because her family is not from Canada and police wanted to make sure they were informed in-person.
The Victoria Police Department said on Tuesday they were able to notify the family and in turn, were able to update the community about the tragic event.
“We take these steps to ensure that someone learns that their loved one has died in person, in a caring and trauma-informed manner, and are not surprised by its announcement on the news or online,” stated VicPD.
Police said the driver of the vehicle involved in the crash remained on scene and has cooperated fully with investigators. Impairment is not considered to be a factor at this time, and the driver has been offered supports.
Emergency crews were called to the scene just after 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 6. Despite the best efforts of passerbys, police and paramedics, the woman’s injuries proved to be fatal.
Anyone who witnessed the crash and has yet to speak with police is asked to call VicPD’s non-emergency line at 250-995-7654.
The death has added weight to the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition (GVCC) call for improved crash investigation protocols that include road design, along with more investment into protected bike lanes.
The GVCC is pushing for a “vision zero” region where nobody dies or is seriously injured on city roads.
Corey Burger, GVCC policy and infrastructure chair, points to the death of Eileen Evans in 2016 as proof more needs to be done when someone on a bike is killed.
In 2016, Evans, 73, was killed at the intersection of Government and Fisgard streets, when a truck driver hit her while turning right. The long-time cyclist’s death was ruled an accident, but the GVCC asserts the coroner did not take into account the design of the bike lanes and the lack of physical protection between vehicles and bikes contributed to her death.
“The city has a plan to build protected bike lanes to keep people on bikes safe,” said Burger in a statement. “But neither will happen unless council approves funding in 2021 and beyond.”
According to the GVCC, international best practices for a similar incident is a full investigation that includes experts from civil engineering, urban design, coroner services and traffic safety officers. The only way to achieve vision zero, states the GVCC, is to follow this best practice in the region, along with developing a comprehensive picture of crashes and recommendations to ensure tragedies like this do not happen again.
“We urge municipalities, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and BC Coroners Service to move quickly to develop improved crash investigations protocols that include road design and increased investment in protected bike lanes,” states the GVCC.
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