Christian Elsing woke “very sore” Thursday, after being struck by a vehicle in a collision on Sooke Road in Colwood Wednesday evening.
“I don’t really know what happened,” says Elsing, as he was hit from behind. “All I heard was a lot of crunching and crashing and then something crashed into me. According to the police I was collateral damage.”
While the details of the crash are still unclear, Elsing believes a car was hit from behind by another vehicle which then somehow hit him from behind on the left. Luckily, he was left with soft tissue damage, but everything is “hurting like heck.”
“I don’t know what car actually struck me, but I was on the ground and the next thing I knew was the ambulance was there.”
No official information has been released on the condition of the two drivers, but Esling believes one of the drivers was in severe condition, at least by the looks of it.
A silver lining of the crash is the number of people who stopped to help. Esling says he couldn’t believe how many people were there, ready to call 911, give first aid and even to take his bike home, which was dropped off for him earlier on Thursday.
Esling uses Sooke Road to get to and from work and doesn’t think bike lanes would have helped in this case.
“I was riding as far to the right as humanly possible. I ride that road every day and I know where to ride to not be in traffic,” he says. “This has something to do with the cars getting tossed around.”
Colwood Fire Rescue chief John Cassidy says that he’s not sure what happened either, adding that fire crew’s main concern in that crash was the safety of the drivers and the cyclist along with redirecting traffic, which was down to one lane for about two hours.
Cassidy says there was also major clean up that had to happen after the crash due to one of the car’s radiators “totally discharg[ing]” all over the road.
While Cassidy says the drivers who were stuck in traffic due to the crash were “cool and calm,” he would like to remind everyone to slow down when they see traffic controllers.
“We’re there to provide emergency services to help and make sure no one gets hurt,” says Cassidy. “I don’t want any of my people getting tagged because [driver] are getting frustrated.”
During the crash, two other emergency vehicles needed to get through which caused even more of a headache, but Cassidy appreciates the help of the general public in this case.
The City of Colwood’s draft strategic plan is proposing a review of priority roads — including Sooke Road — with recommendations for specific roadway cross-section improvements, states Sandra Russell, communications manager for Colwood.
“[This] is one of a long list of tactics to help Colwood reach its goals with respect to mobility, including enhancing the quality of life … by creating a connected network of streets, sidewalks, trails and cycling routes,” she said in an email. Residents are encouraged to share their thoughts on the draft strategic plan at letstalkcolwood.ca.
As for Esling, this crash isn’t going to stop him from cycling to and from work. All he wants now is some money back from ICBC to purchase a new bike, which was “completely destroyed” in the crash.