A Calgary man who says he was clothes-lined in the neck by barbed wire while riding on a trail in West Bragg Creek Provincial Park wants to help improve safety for cyclists in Alberta. But the provincial government says no issues were found after a “visual sweep” of the area.
Stelios Psaroudakis, 37, has started a GoFundMe campaign. He says the funds are to help with his own medical bills, but he also wants to donate cameras to the park to “make them safe.” He raised over $850 in the three days since the page was launched.
“I was downhilling West Bragg Creek Provincial Park on one of the trails… going down a steep hill, I saw something in my peripheral and before I could react, I got clothes-lined in the neck by a barbed wire that was attached between two trees right in the middle of the trail—almost killed me,” Psaroudakis wrote in the online post.
A spokesperson for Alberta Environment and Parks told Global News its staff and volunteers from the Greater Bragg Creek Trail Association did a “visual sweep of the entire West Bragg Creek trail system” after the initial complaint to police.
“No safety issues were found,” Brent Wittmeier wrote in an email to Global News, adding there are no cameras currently stationed in the West Bragg Creek trails system.
“As the investigation is still underway, Alberta Parks is not considering any changes to the trail system.”
He said there have been no other similar incidents reported in the West Bragg Creek trails system or elsewhere in Kananaskis Country.
The department did offer a reminder to trail users to “continue to exercise caution on the West Bragg Creek trail system and report any such incidents to the RCMP.”
RCMP previously told Global News the victim reported it happened at about 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 5. The report filed with police said the wire was about six-and-a-half to seven feet up from the ground, strung between two trees.
“We are continuing to investigate and we are still asking for people with information to call the Cochrane RCMP at 403-932-2211,” Peters told Global News on Tuesday.
Psaroudakis told RCMP he was knocked to the ground and left his bike behind while his friend took him to hospital. He was treated for minor injuries, RCMP said last week.
When Psaroudakis and his friend returned to retrieve the bike the next day, they said it was gone. His GoFundMe says he hopes to use some of the money from the fundraising campaign to purchase a new bicycle.
A Global News interview request to Psaroudakis was not immediately returned.