Cyclists, be wary of drivers

Teen urges caution on the part of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

Editor: I am 17 years old. I go to R.E. Mountain Secondary School and am in Grade 12.

I would just like to share one scary experience I had recently as a cyclist.

On Thursday, Nov. 8, I was biking home from school. I had just crossed the 204 Street overpass and was heading down 203 Street.

I was heading down the left sidewalk, when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a woman in a black SUV coming out of the parking lot. As I approached an intersection where cars can exit out of the parking lot, I noticed that she was not stopping for me.

As soon as I realized that I could not avoid making contact with her, I swerved to the right (towards the road), hoping to lessen the impact. Still, the front bumper of this woman’s car hit the side of my bike and I immediately crashed onto the road. Thankfully, no cars were on that part of the road at that time.

As I checked myself out and made sure that everything was OK, a man who witnessed the event came out and helped me get off the road and clean myself up. He also tried to fix up the back part of my bicycle, unsuccessfully.

The woman who hit me got out of her car and asked if I was alright. I had a severely cut left knee and a few other scrapes and bruises and I was not thinking straight at all. I was still shocked by what had just happened.

I half-knowingly said I was OK. She said the sun was in her eyes, and proceeded to drive off through another exit in the parking lot. I was wearing a helmet, keeping to the sidewalk, and did everything else that a good cyclist should do.

The woman drive off without giving me her license plate number or phone number, and did not make an attempt to stay with me more than a minute.

Later on that night, my family and I made a report to the Langley police station. Unfortunately, the police could not do anything without any of the woman’s personal information, such as license plate number. This was at 6:30 p.m.

The police then told me to go to the Langley Memorial Hospital nearby to make sure that everything would be alright.

I arrived at the Langley Memorial Hospital at 7:30 p.m. and had to wait two hours until I was able to be treated in the ER section of the hospital.

At the hospital, I was given a neck brace, and the nurses and doctors performed a few tests on me. They told me that everything would work out fine and that I would be released from the hospital that night. It was not until 1 a.m. Friday morning that I was released from hospital, and I still feel soreness and stiffness. I received a slight concussion and my left knee is damaged.

I want to personally thank the witness to this accident for helping me to get off the road and helping clean me up and send me on my way. The second thing is I want to ask the woman who crashed into me, if she has the courage to do so, to contact  the police about this accident.

The third thing is that I wish to urge drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to  look all around you and be aware of all of your surroundings. Do not be distracted. I would not want this to  happen to anyone else. That would be my greatest wish.

Tyler Heppner,