(Erin Haluschak/Comox Valley Record)

UPDATED: 60-year-old man dead after motorcycle hits city bus in Courtenay

Victim changed lanes from the right-hand turn lane at last moment; hit bus turning left

A 60-year-old male motorcyclist has died in hospital from his injuries following an afternoon collision involving a city bus in Courtenay.

The incident happened around 4:15 p.m. Tuesday at Ryan Road and Cowichan Avenue, just outside the entrance to North Island College.

RCMP Sgt. B.T. Nightingale, a Vancouver Island collision reconstructionist, said a man on a motorcycle was heading south along Ryan Road when he tried to make a last-minute lane change from the right-turn lane into the through lane at the intersection.

“As a result, there was a bus turning left and he ended up hitting the bus that was making the turn in front of him. He did go right into the side so he really had no escape route as soon as the bus made the left turn in front of him.”

He added the indication was that because he was in the right-turn lane, drivers were anticipating he was making a right turn. As he quickly moved to the through lane, drivers were unprepared for what the motorcyclist was going to do.

Nightingale noted there were many witnesses present, and the incident damaged the bus to the tune of a few thousand dollars.

Const. Monika Terragni, media spokesperson for the Comox Valley RCMP confirmed the driver of the bus remained at the scene of the collision and co-operated with investigators.

The driver was uninjured, she noted, however, one passenger was taken to local hospital by ambulance for minor injuries.

The intersection was closed for several hours while investigators examined the scene.

In an emailed statement to The Record, Erinn Pinkerton, BC Transit interim president and chief executive officer said staff and partners are committed to providing the necessary supports for the driver and their colleagues through this difficult incident.

“As with any incident, BC Transit is committed to reviewing the incident internally to determine if we can make improvements to prevent this from occurring in the future,” Pinkerton added.

This incident comes on the heels of a pair of incidents in the Comox Valley last week, also involving motorcycles (see page A14).

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