Bike to Work Week participants have received a grim reminder about safety on local roads after a Smithers cyclist was hit by a pick-up truck on Highway 16 near Hungry Hill Tuesday evening.
Police believe the 56-year-old was on a recreational ride with another cyclist when she was hit by a truck towing a trailer about five kilometres east of Hungry Hill, between Smithers and Houston, at about 5 p.m.
The woman, whose condition is now stable, was transported to Bulkley Valley District Hospital with life-threatening injuries before being flown to a Vancouver hospital the day of the accident.
The driver of the vehicle involved remained at the scene and was interviewed by the RCMP, as were witnesses to the crash.
West Pacific Region Traffic Services Corporal Philip Crack said the investigation was still ongoing but weather and alcohol had been ruled out as causes of the crash.
No charges have been laid.
The accident coincides with Bike to Work Week, which promotes cycling as a mode of transportation from May 25-29.
More than 450 riders and 48 teams are registered for the Smithers event, which has a program of group rides and lunches for participants throughout this week.
Organizer Liliana Dragowska said the accident was a reminder for both motorists and cyclists to make safety a priority.
“I hope beyond Bike to Work Week we, as a community, can continue to promote bike safety and also promote sharing the road and responsibility on everyone’s part for our safety,” she said.
“At today’s event just talking with people who had heard of it, of course there was conversation happening.
“Just people really being aware of, saying ‘hey we’ve got to be careful following the rules of the road,promote wearing bright clothing and keep these conversations going’.”
Cpl. Crack said everybody using local roads should be aware of their surroundings.
“It’s the time of the year that the road is being used by all sorts of people … people walking, people riding bikes, people riding horses,” he said.
“Be aware of what’s going on on the shoulder of the road.
“They not be fully in your lane of travel and they may not be aware that you’re coming at them, especially at the speeds that happen at highway speeds.”
The Bike to Work Week Smithers committee made this video about bike safety before the event started: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_-5mXtPoh0&app=desktop.