Motorbike trend disturbing for Penticton RCMP

Six motorbike accidents in past month which is the entire number of crashes during each of the last four years in the city.

For emergency responders the “vehicle-versus-motorcycle” call from 911 dispatchers usually means preparing for the worst.

“We go to it (motorcycle accident) as we would go to anything else, but in the back of your mind you’re sort of getting yourself ready for a situation that’s going to be a little more serious than normal,” said RCMP traffic officer Cpl. Ted Manchulenko. “It’s harder for people to see. I mean two vehicles hit and a fender gets torn off and it’s not a big deal to see, but when it’s a person lying on the road it’s a whole different dynamic, it affects everybody a little differently and that’s consistent for the emergency services (personnel) too.”

In the past month alone there have been six such accidents near Penticton, which according ICBC statistics, has been the entire number of crashes during each of the last four years in the city.

The most recent accident was Wednesday’s collision between a car and motorcycle on Main Street, the fourth in a seven-day period.

“We’re all just shaking our heads at why there has been so many in such a short period of time, it’s just hard to determine why,” Manchulenko said while at the scene of that accident. “In this case it was a motorcycle going northbound on Main Street and a southbound passenger car making a left turn and she thought the road was clear and things went bad from there. The rider went down with leg injuries and was taken by ambulance to PRH (Penticton Regional Hospital).”

In three of the last four crashes the drivers of the vehicles were at fault, turning into the path of the motorcycles, and the other involved a deer, which was hit while crossing the road.

The other two accidents this year were in May, one of those being a fatality which happened on Eastside Road and also resulted in serious injuries to the passenger.

Particularly worrisome to officials is the stats show May-June is generally the slower time, only one or two crashes, with the peak being in July and August with about four.

Not all motorcycle accidents are the fault of the “other” driver. In fact, Manchulenko believes it is more likely a 50-50 split. It is just that there are few motorcycle crashes where there are not injuries.

“With the safety features of the newer vehicles in an urban environment when two vehicles hit the chances are pretty good everybody is going to walk away with minor injuries, but in a similar situation with a motorcyclist, or cyclist for that matter, even though the speeds aren’t that great, somebody is going to hit the pavement pretty hard.”

Those problems are compounded if the rider is going at excessive speeds or driving in an unsafe manner. According to ICBC, motorcyclists have an eight times greater chance of dying and are 40 per cent more likely to be injured in an accident.

Manchulenko urged everyone using the streets to be aware of what is happening around them because the consequences of one mistake can last a lifetime.

“Slow down a little bit, take your time,” he said. “I think one of the problems is, especially now, our roads are so multi-use. Just look at Eckhardt and Highway 97. You have children crossing on their way to school, there are logging trucks, cyclists, people on scooters or mobility chairs and everyone is just trying to get safely to their destination.”

In the case of a fatality, the officer added even though it may be one person who dies, the impact is community-wide, from friends and family to first responders.

Just Posted

Osoyoos chef Murray McDonald was ecstatic upon realizing he scored the $1 million guaranteed prize in the June 2, 2021 Lotto 6/49 draw. (Contributed)
Osoyoos chef ecstatic after bagging $1 million Lotto 6/49 win

Chef Murray McDonald was at home and ready to doze off to sleep when he got a text from his wife

(File photo)
Additional service coming to two Penticton bus routes

Both service changes were made to meet increased demand over the summer

It's believed the Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Sunday night. (Aileen Mascasaet Maningas)
UPDATE: Two churches on band land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Okanagan Connector to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation recently announced $1 million in funding for the upgrades

People at the beach in front of Discovery Bay Resort on Tuesday, July 14. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Heat wave forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures are forecast to hit record breaking highs this week

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Traffic will be diverted through Radium along highways 93 and 95 as a part of the closures. (Claire Palmer photo)
Extended closures to Trans-Canada Highway announced east of Golden this fall

It’s the second round of extended closures as a part of Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project

Kelowna Cabs’ dispatchers will be coming back to work now that their union and the taxi company have come to an agreement. (Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs dispatchers set to go back to work

The taxi company and the dispatchers’ union have reached an agreement

Wild Sky Sisters
Wild Sky Sisters: Cancer Season

Wild Sky Sisters is a joint venture between Angela Moffitt and Tamara McLellan

A pair of Alberta residents were arrested after police responded to a report of a woman who had allegedly been assaulted and confined against her will on June 20, 2021. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP arrest 2 Albertans suspected in alleged assault, unlawful confinement

Firearms, stolen items seized including NHL hockey cards believed to be worth thousands

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctos urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

Most Read