Jesse Birkedal was cycling on Eastside Road when he was struck by a vehicle that then departed the scene without providing any assistance or leaving their information. (Photo courtesy of GoFundMe)

Penticton cyclist injured in hit-and-run in critical condition

Jesse Birkedal was injured in a hit-and-run while cycling on Eastside Road

The brother of a South Okanagan cyclist, who was the victim of a hit and run on Eastside Road and is in critical condition, is putting a public plea out.

“If you saw anything please contact RCMP. If you are the one that hit him, please come forward. This is my brother and it is just crushing me. I hope that the person that did this comes forward because people are looking for them. I just want someone to come forward and take responsibility for their actions,” said Dayne Heimbecker-Cooley.

READ MORE: Penticton RCMP search for suspect vehicle in cyclist hit and run

Jesse Birkedal, 26, was cycling on Eastside Road on June 5 when he was hit by a vehicle that did not remain at the scene. He suffered seven fractures in his body — including two in his pelvis, three vertebrae and his ankle.

“He was in a coma until (late last week) and he didn’t remember anything,” said Heimbecker-Cooley who has set up a GoFundMe account to fundraise for his sibling. “I wasn’t there when he woke up but my sister was and we did a video chat. He was balling his eyes out and sure is thankful for anyone who donates to the fundraiser.”

Birkedal, who RCMP said was not wearing a helmet, also had seven staples in his head and two in his shoulder.

“He has head to toe road rash. He is pretty depressed right now and just can’t believe someone would do this and not even stop to help,” said Heimbecker-Cooley. “I got to the hospital as soon as I could to see him and just totally lost my mind, it is so hard to see him like this.”

Heimbecker-Cooley said he set up the fundraiser to get some money together for him to possibly get a wheelchair accessible apartment, as he believes he will not be able to walk for some time. Almost $1,000 has been raised in just over a week.

Heimbecker-Cooley said his brother is from Oliver and has been working in an orchard. He added that he has a young daughter that lives with her mother in another community.

“I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped out so far. I couldn’t have done this without the support of my friends and family. They have been keeping my spirits up and positive. I have also seen a lot of messages and donations coming in from people we don’t even know, I want them to know we are thankful,” said Heimbecker-Cooley.

Penticton RCMP are continuing their investigation into the incident and said the suspect vehicle is believed to be a Pontiac Vibe, or other Pontiac brand of vehicle with a small honeycomb style of grill.

“Should any repair shops have any information about a similar vehicle with front-end damage, they are encouraged to call the Penticton RCMP,” said Const. James Grandy.

If you have any information, please call the Penticton RCMP at 250-492-4300 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Just Posted

Special memorial service to say goodbye to murdered teen

A memorial service and celebratio of life was held Tuesday for murdered teen Elijah-Iain Beauregard

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: cloudy, rain expected

Environment Canada is calling for a risk of thunderstorms tonight across the Okanagan

Juno-Award winning musician Bill Bourne to perform in Keremeos

Concert at the Grist Mill and Gardens starts at 7 p.m. on July 19

10th year for Great Naramata Cherry Pit Contest

The event is a fun-filled way to celebrate the local harvest

VIDEO: Plant-based burgers may not be as healthy as they seem

Both the Impossible and Beyond Burger have more saturated fat than beef burgers

Thunderstorms forecast across B.C.

Environment Canada has issued a thunderstorm watch for B.C.’s central Interior

Man fleeing police arrested in Summerland

Incident occurred on Tuesday evening

B.C. mom to go to Europe court in hopes of getting alleged abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown alleges her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

Missing South Okanagan kayaker last seen on Okanagan Lake

Penticton RCMP are asking for assistance in locating a missing kayaker

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

Part One: The opioid crisis and the B.C. Interior

A personal connection to the crisis: Recovering addicts share their story

B.C. moves to preserve 54 of its biggest, oldest trees

Fir, cedar, spruce, pine, yew set aside from logging

Firefighters have doused a Peachland house fire

Fire crews are still on scene investigating the cause of the BBQ which made its way to the home

Most Read