Local Good Samaritan helps after 'horrifying' accident on Columbia this morning

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
October 14th, 2011

 What’s being described as a “horrifying” motorcycle accident slowed traffic on Columbia Avenue this morning.

Castlegar RCMP Const. Chris LaValley said a motorcyclist was heading south on the city’s main thoroughfare near Chopsticks Restaurant (8th Street) at about 10:10 a.m., when a pick-up truck pulled off 8th Street and onto Columbia right in front of him.  “I suspect the truck’s driver never even saw the motorcyclist,” LeValley said. “The cyclist tried to hit his brakes to avoid a collision – you can see about 20 feet of skid marks before he lost control of the motorcycle – then he was thrown about 10 feet past his bike.  “He was taken to Castlegar hospital then transported to Trail hospital, where he remains in stable condition.”  Luckily, the first witness to pull over also happened to be trained in level-three first aid.  Local Castlegar mother-of-two Michelle Ferris said she saw the motorcycle go flying off the right side of the road.  “I pulled over, leaving my car on, and ran to him,” she said. “I could see he was breathing, so I just got on my knees to hold his head still and started asking him questions.”  Ferris, an on-call sports attendant and first-aid attendant for Selkirk College, said she was grateful for her training, this morning more than ever.  “I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did if I didn’t have level three training,” she said. “And knowing what to do gives you the confidence to take positive action.”  She said, rather than feeling heroic, she was stunned at how many people just kept on driving, without stopping to offer help.  “How do you not stop when you see such a horrifying accident? You don’t need first-aid training to call 911 or help some other way,” she said. “When I was there, he (the cyclist) was in and out of consciousness – I’m glad to hear he’s doing better. It was pretty scary.  “I’d like to think I helped in some sort of way.”  Both Ferris and LeValley concur that the man’s helmet likely saved his life, and police are asking anyone who witnessed the accident to contact RCMP at 250-365-7721.  “We don’t have a good description of the truck, which kept on driving after the accident,” LeValley said. “We’d appreciate any input the public can offer.”

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