Weather and other factors led to a number of serious motor vehicle accidents in Nanaimo on Thursday, according to Nanaimo RCMP.
A 46-year-old cyclist is in critical condition after he was struck by a southbound vehicle at Morden Road and the Island Highway south of Nanaimo.
According to investigators who spoke with witnesses, the driver was proceeding through the intersection on a green light when the cyclist was hit at about 10:30 p.m.
The victim sustained life-threatening injuries and was airlifted to Victoria General Hospital where he remains in critical condition.
The cyclist was not wearing a helmet or reflective clothing and had no lights on his bike.
Drugs and alcohol have been ruled out as contributors to the accident.
The driver, a 65-year-old Nanaimo man, was uninjured but shaken by the ordeal and is being assisted by Nanaimo RCMP Victim Services.
Automotive mishaps Thursday included three rollovers crashes, one of which was a car that left the road on Front Street and rolled over into Georgia Park Thursday night.
A motorcyclist was taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital for observation after his Harley Davidson collided with a Dodge Dart that turned left onto Bowen Road from Bowen Centre shopping plaza shortly after 5 p.m.
The car’s driver was not injured.
“The driver of the car was issued with a ticket for failure to yield,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.
A dog suffered life-threatening injuries after the Toyota Tundra it was riding in hit another vehicle at about 4 p.m.
According to police, the 45-year-old driver of the Toyota failed to yield while turning onto Northfield Road from Wilgress Road and collided with a westbound Ford Ranger driven by a 21-year-old man.
No injuries were suffered by either driver or a woman passenger in the Toyota, but the small dog, which police said was sitting in the driver’s lap, sustained significant internal injuries when it was struck by the air bag. The pet remains in critical condition in a Nanaimo veterinary hospital.
The driver of the Toyota was ticketed for failing to yield.
“While neither the driver nor passengers were injured, a family pet was seriously injured in circumstances that could have been avoided,” O’Brien said in a press release. “Pets should never be allowed to sit on driver’s laps. It can lead to the driver becoming distracted and puts the animal in harm’s way.”
Nanaimo RCMP are asking motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to be mindful of changing road and weather conditions, reduce speed accordingly and avoid driving distractions, which include cell phones and family pets.