Woman breaks back in seawall cyclist collision
Published Friday, July 25, 2014 1:25PM PDT
Police are investigating after a woman visiting Vancouver says she broke her back after falling off the Vancouver seawall because of speeding cyclists.
Charmaine Mitchell, 43, was walking with two friends on the pedestrian path near Second Beach on Saturday afternoon when she says two young men on bikes passed them at high speeds.
The 43-year-old said she jumped out of the way, but seconds later another cyclist careened into her, sending her over the seawall. She fell almost three metres and hit the sharp rocks below.
“I literally thought I was paralyzed,” she told CTV News. “I’m lucky to be alive.”
The mother-of-four suffered a broken back, fractured knee and a broken toe. She underwent surgery and remains in Vancouver General Hospital.
Vancouver police Sgt. Randy Fincham said police are looking into the incident, but did not say whether the cyclist would face charges.
Mitchell wants to see cyclists banned from using the seawall.
The behaviour of the throngs of pedestrians and cyclists that use the tourist attraction is a frequent topic of conversation – and source of frustration.
Last year, personal trainer and avid jogger Jesse Evjenth posted a blog with suggested rules of seawall etiquette after several near collisions with pedestrians, strollers and bicycles.
“We all need to tune up our common sense when it comes to sharing the space so we can all live in peace,” he urged.
The seawall officially has a 15 kilometre per hour limit, however it is not frequently enforced.
VPD officers were out with radar traps this weekend ticketing two-wheeled speeders in the False Creek area of the seawall.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Sarah MacDonald