An area woman is in hospital with serious injuries after being hit by a pickup truck during an early-morning bicycle ride.
The collision occurred at approximately 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14 on Sunniebend Road, just west of Range Road 11. The 53-year-old cyclist was transported from the scene by STARS Air Ambulance to the University of Alberta Hospital.
“It definitely looks like head trauma,” said Westlock RCMP Cpl. Dave Casey. “It is serious in nature. To what extend, I’m not sure. I’d just spoken to ambulance staff prior to her being loaded, but when someone is taken by STARS, obviously they’re serious and precautions are being taken for transport.”
Police report the pickup truck driver was heading east when he saw a dog on the right side of the road.
In order to avoid the animal, he pulled into the westbound lane, where he struck the cyclist, said RCMP.
The woman was not wearing a helmet, said Casey.
“A helmet is more or less meant for a cyclist who might stumble or fall over a curb or something,” he said. “It might have done a little. I don’t know if it would have helped her much at all.”
The investigation continues, but RCMP say the only factor appears to be limited visibility due to sunshine blinding the driver. They have ruled out alcohol as a factor and after evaluating tread and brake marks, they don’t believe speed to be a factor either.
“It’s just one of those unfortunate things where the sun was directly in his eyes at that time of morning and visibility wouldn’t have been that great and he just did not see her,” Casey said, adding that he may have seen her if she had been riding in the eastbound lane.
Both the driver and the cyclist are residents of the Pibroch area.
“It’s one of those things where you call it an accident because that’s exactly what it was,” he said.