May 22, 2014 11:34 am

Cyclist, 50, killed in collision in central Edmonton

Watch above: A 50-year-old woman was killed while riding her bike in Edmonton Thursday. As Ross Neitz reports, the collision was between a bicycle and garbage truck.

EDMONTON – A 50-year-old woman is dead after being struck by a garbage truck while riding her bike Thursday morning.

Police were called to the collision, which happened at the intersection of 112 Street and 100 Avenue, around 7:30 a.m.

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Witnesses have told police that both the cyclist and a private waste management truck were heading east on 100 Avenue when the truck reportedly made a right hand turn onto 112 Street, striking the woman on her bike.

Witnesses say the woman was continuing straight through the intersection when she was hit.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Her name has not been released.

Chris Chan, executive director of the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters’ Society (EBC), says 100 Avenue is a very popular route for cyclists. He says while he didn’t know the woman who was killed, the death is upsetting for everyone.

“About six per cent of the traffic on this road is bicycle traffic,” Chan said. “So a lot of us, even if we don’t personally know the person that was killed, it really does strike close to home.”

Cyclist Andy Holt knows all too well the risks facing those on two wheels. Last week, Holt was riding along Whyte Avenue when he was struck by an SUV.

“I went right over the hood of a vehicle and landed on the other side. And I got lucky; if the vehicle had been six feet further forward I would have probably hit my head on a window or a doorpost and the outcome could have been very different,” he said.

“I just feel for the family and friends of the lady who lost her life this morning.”

Thursday afternoon, Chan placed a ghost bike at the intersection in memory of the cyclist. Since the ghost bike program began in 2007, the EBC has set up 15 bikes to honour 15 cyclists who have been killed.

Chan says the bikes also act as a reminder to cyclists, pedestrians and motorists that the road is meant to be shared.

“We do need to be aware of each other, but what we really want to see is that we don’t have to set these memorials up again. And in order for that to happen, we really need dedicated bike infrastructure where it can be really safe for cyclists, pedestrians, and really clarify the rules and interactions between cars and bikes.”

Police are also urging people to share the road and be on the lookout for one another.

“It’s a gorgeous day out today, there’s going to be a lot of pedestrians out, there’s going to be a lot of bicyclists out and both need to be watching for cars – and the other way around,” said Cst. Darren Sunley with the Edmonton Police Service Major Collision Investigation Unit.

The driver of the truck, a 47-year-old man, was not injured in the collision.

Police continue to investigate, but do not believe speed or alcohol were factors in the collision.

Sunley says it appears the cyclist was wearing a helmet at the time.

This is Edmonton’s ninth traffic fatality of 2014.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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