The family of a Penticton teen is looking for witnesses after their son was struck by a vehicle while crossing at an intersection.
Ivan Richet, a 15-year-old Grade 10 student at Outma Sqilx’W Cultural School, was biking around town with his friends on Sept. 10 when the teens ended up at the traffic light-controlled intersection of Power Street and Westminster Avenue West. At roughly 4:45 p.m. the teens went to cross Westminster Avenue toward Queen’s Park, but a black Ford truck with tinted windows and a tinted black canopy allegedly struck Richet while turning right from Power Street, heading toward Penticton’s Main Street.
“I was on my bike because I don’t like walking too slowly. I don’t trust people,” said Richet, who was later advised by RCMP that he should dismount his bike when crossing intersections. “The truck ended up hitting me on my right thigh and knocked me over on my bike, I was wearing a helmet, and I hit my head.”
Richet developed a hematoma, or a form of internal bleeding where blood is clotted outside of a vessel such as an artery, vein or capillary, on his right thigh as a result of the incident.
Richet said the traffic light was green at the time of the incident, so the crosswalk sign signalled that they could cross the street. Richet said he never saw the truck until it struck him. The driver, he said, was a bald, Caucasian male between 40 and 50.
“I don’t know if he saw me before he hit me. He was going close to 30 or 40 km/h when he hit me,” said Richet. “The bike I was riding was my friend’s, and now both the pedals are broken. I wasn’t able to catch his licence plate numbers, but I know they were B.C. plates. It was a high truck and he hit me with the bumper on a passenger side. He didn’t even stop, he just went and floored it.”
After the incident, Richet and his friends went to the nearby Chevron to call his mom, Danielle, to pick him up. Danielle said she then took Ivan to the hospital to have him examined, where they discovered a hematoma on his swollen right thigh.
“Emergency checked him out, and we also called the cops and then we have to go to ICBC,” said Danielle.
“I just want to keep him home now,” joked Danielle, reflecting on whether or not the incident has made her nervous about her son biking on city streets. “It’s scary, I’m a walker too and I have close calls even when I am crossing at Main Street. And I always use the crosswalk or the lights. Walking with my kids when they were little with the strollers, that’s scary too.”
“I don’t like riding on the road, I ride on the sidewalk because I don’t trust anyone,” said Richet, who added this incident will make him even more cautious.
Danielle said the RCMP officer did explain to Richet that he should dismount his bike when crossing at an intersection but did not “get him in trouble” as he was still crossing at the proper time and the accident is the fault of the driver.
Anyone who may have witnessed this incident or who has information on who the driver was is asked to contact the Penticton RCMP detachment at 250-492-4300.
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