A cyclist who was hit from behind by a vehicle in a 90 km/h zone is searching for the motorist who sped away.
Jordan Sylvestre was disoriented and in distress after he was knocked off his bicycle during his Tuesday morning commute. In thinking back to the frantic moments that followed, the 34-year-old cyclist remembers one thing for certain — "There were no brake lights", which showed the driver didn't slow after hitting Sylvestre.
At 6:12 a.m. on Tuesday, Sylvestre was biking southbound on Pipeline Road, just south of the Perimeter Highway, when he was struck by a vehicle that sped off towards the city.
"I was blindsided at about 90 km/h, I should be dead," he said during a phone interview from his home in West St. Paul Wednesday.
“I was blindsided at about 90 km/h, I should be dead.” – Jordan Sylvestre who was hit from behind while biking southbound on Pipeline Road early Tuesday morning
He survived the hit-and-run, but not without severe injury. Sylvestre broke his leg, arm and suffered abrasions all over his body.
Now, he and his family are searching for the motorist responsible. They only know the person was driving a silver Honda vehicle. Pieces of the car, including its right passenger mirror, were scattered on the side of the asphalt road after the incident.
"If anybody has seen, in their neighbourhood or in a parkade or at work, a silver Honda that’s missing a passenger mirror, and potentially, likely other damage to the front or side, right corner, alert police," he said. (Anyone can submit a tip to the Winnipeg Police Service at 204-986-6222 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-8477.)
A local police spokesperson said the incident took place outside of its jurisdiction, although Sylvestre said he filed a report with WPS. WPS did not respond to a follow-up request. RCMP did not respond to multiple requests for comment Wednesday.
Sylvestre has been commuting to his engineering job in the city from the rural municipality northwest of Winnipeg for about two years. He was wearing a helmet and headlamp and his bike was equipped with a backlight. While he has always enjoyed the exercise, he said he might put his bike away after the traumatic incident.
"I can only be as safe as the most unsafe driver out there so I need to figure out, especially now with a young [daughter], whether I want to put myself in that position again," he said.
All collisions are preventable as far as the executive director of Bike Winnipeg is concerned.
"I can only be as safe as the most unsafe driver out there so I need to figure out, especially now with a young [daughter], whether I want to put myself in that position again." – Jordan Sylvestre
"I don't think there’s any way you wouldn't have seen him, unless you’re really oblivious and texting or something, which is also incredibly dangerous," Mark Cohoe said.
Cohoe said there’s a need for the city and province to recognize that suburban areas require infrastructure that protects all road users, including lower speed limits. "I don’t think I'd want to be passed at 90 km/h on that road," he said, adding that incidents involving cyclists getting hit from behind are usually the deadliest kind.
So far in 2019, there has been one cyclist death in Winnipeg.
Maggie Macintosh reports on education for the Winnipeg Free Press. Funding for the Free Press education reporter comes from the Government of Canada through the Local Journalism Initiative.