Friday 17 September 2010

Lorry driver collides with group of 18 cyclists

One man is dead and two others are in hospital after a transport truck plowed into a group of cyclists from Ottawa on a New Brunswick highway Thursday.

RCMP Cpl. Rob Landry said the group of 18 cyclists were riding on a four-lane stretch of the busy Hwy. 7 near Petersville Hill, N.B., when the collision occurred. A 23-year-old man was killed, while the other two were taken to hospital with minor injuries. Images from the scene showed bicycle parts scattered across the pavement.

Alayne McGregor, who sits on the board of Ottawa group Citizens for Safe Cycling, said speed, sun and inattention can all play factors.

"This isn't the same as in urban cycling. It's a different situation, there are different risks. Vehicles are going at higher speeds and they're not looking for cyclists because they don't expect them to be there.

"The essential risks we hear about in rural collisions are driver inattention, drivers claiming they didn't see the cyclist because of sun in their eyes, drivers driving extremely fast and not being able to correct in time and some people transfixed by the road after driving for a long time, which might apply to truck drivers."


The cyclists are part of the Ottawa-based group that promotes sustainable environmental choices.

The group performed earlier Thursday in Oromocto and had been cycling toward Grand Bay for another performance in the evening.

"This group of young people liked to spread awareness about choices that young people can make," said Landry. "They're actually a theatrical group that travels by bicycle from city to city putting on theatrical performances."