Cyclist killed on Highway 97 in Lake Country trying to cross road: RCMP

Click to play video: 'Fatal crash prompts calls for Okanagan Rail Trail to be finished' Fatal crash prompts calls for Okanagan Rail Trail to be finished
WATCH: A fatal crash involving a cyclist on Highway 97 has amplified calls for a cycling route to be opened between Kelowna and Lake Country. Bike advocates and community members say governments should move as quickly as possible to open the Okanagan Rail Trail between the two communities to move bikes off Highway 97. – May 24, 2022

The cyclist killed Tuesday while cycling on Highway 97 in Lake Country was just trying to cross the road, RCMP said in a press release.

“The initial investigation has found that a 70-year-old male cyclist attempted to cross Highway 97 from west to east during morning rush hour traffic when he was struck by a Honda Fit travelling northbound,” RCMP said in a press release.

Read more: Fatal collision between cyclist and vehicle closes Highway 97 in Lake Country

The man succumbed to his injuries at the scene and the investigation is ongoing.

Cycling advocates say that riding on Highway 97 is a risky proposition at the best of times.

Landon Bradshaw, a director with the Kelowna Area Cycling Coalition, said riding along the highway corridor is not safe for cyclists.

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“Cyclists should not be required to ride along the highway when people are going 90 km/h,” Bradshaw said.

Read more: Highway 97 cycling fatality prompts calls to finish the Okanagan Rail Trail

Bradshaw was among those emphasizing that the nearby Okanagan Rail Trail, which remains unfinished and closed north of the Kelowna airport, should be opened quickly to give cyclists a safer option to get from Kelowna to Lake Country than the highway.

Read more: Stiffer fines for ‘dooring’ cyclists go into effect

“We’ve been sitting here with this route half-closed, with nowhere to go and it feels like we are being left,” Bradshaw said.

— with files from Megan Turcato

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