WHEN a luxury car goes up against a cyclist and a tree, bet on the tree.
That's the lesson learned by a speeding West Vancouver driver Sunday when he careened off Westport Road, clipped a cyclist's back wheel, and crashed into a tree, causing his car to burst into flames.
The near-deadly crash was over before its first victim could even react.
"Somebody came over that bend a little too quickly and clipped my back tire," said cyclist Alex Dumond. "It was mostly just headlights, then loud noises and then fire."
Amazingly, no one sustained more than minor injuries. Dumond, along with the 18-year-old driver and his 16-yearold passenger, was taken to Lions Gate Hospital to be treated for minor cuts and bruises.
"I wasn't too much worse for wear, but the car suffered," said Dumond, a sailing director at the West Vancouver Yacht Club.
Police estimate damage to the car is around $20,000.
The bike's back wheel is a total loss, Dumond added.
The extremely close (and costly) call should serve as a warning to others about speeding on West Vancouver's windy roads, said the cyclist.
"I'm not sure whether these guys live in West Van, but it's certainly not the kind of road where you want to be doing that kind of stuff on. . . . I'm mostly a little peeved. It's wet out. It's just a stupid evening to be running around at that kind of speed on a road like that. It's just stupid driving," he said. Yet the 24 year old is forgiving.
"They're teenagers and teenagers sometimes don't make the best decisions. I don't have any off feeling towards them. It's just not the kind of neighbourhood," he said.
In addition to having to explain to someone what happened to his luxury auto, the driver was issued a violation ticket for speeding relative to road conditions and failing to keep right.