Emergency crews were called out to the scene of a motor vehicle incident on Strathcona Parkway on Sept. 24. The accident happened approximately 15 kilometres up the road to Mount Washington. Photo by Jolene Rudisuela

Emergency crews were called out to the scene of a motor vehicle incident on Strathcona Parkway on Sept. 24. The accident happened approximately 15 kilometres up the road to Mount Washington. Photo by Jolene Rudisuela

Stretch of road that claimed B.C. motorcyclist’s life has notorious past

Same curve on Stratchona Parkway was scene of a 2003 motorcycle fatality

The patch of road that claimed the life of a 29-year-old Vancouver Island motorcyclist Monday, Sept. 24, has a notorious past.

According to RCMP, at approximately 3 p.m., Monday, a man was headed down from Mount Washington on Strathcona Parkway when his motorcycle left the road and went down a steep embankment.

Just metres away from Monday’s accident scene, there is a memorial cross, for Lance Edward Waddell.

According to the Sept. 17, 2003 edition of the Comox Valley Record, Waddell died on Sept. 14, 2003 after traveling down from Mount Washington on his motorcycle and failing to round a left-hand curve. Speed was a factor in that crash

North Vancouver Island Traffic Services and the BC Coroners Service are continuing the investigation the cause of the Sept. 24 fatality.

Friend familiar with area

Jazmine Rose Blais, a friend of the 29-year-old who died Monday, and a motorcyclist herself, said she has ridden down from Mount Washington on her motorcycle once and is familiar with the dangers of that curve. She said the curve where the accident happened can be difficult to navigate, even if you are doing the speed limit.

“We don’t know how fast he was going, but even if you’re doing the speed limit and then that bend, it’s kind of a slight hill, and if you’re not prepared for it… you don’t have any reaction time because you can’t see the curve up until you’re in it and it feels like you’re getting off the bike a little bit,” Blais told CTV Vancouver Island.

“You get up there and it is a slight bend, but that slight bend is always full of gravel and then there’s nothing, there’s just a ditch.”

Blais met the deceased only a couple months ago but already considered him a very close friend. She said he had sent her a few pictures from the top of Mount Washington around 10 minutes before the accident happened.

Blais said the man was a relatively new rider, having only started in the spring, but he had passed all his tests and always rode safely.

However, she added that only a few days ago he fell off his bike after a vehicle cut him off during a left turn.

“We all learn from those little accidents, but just a couple more days and that was it,” she said. “He was really good, just a safe rider, always paying attention and trying to get home to his kid every time – trying to survive that next ride and not getting hit.”

Blais said the deceased will be missed dearly, especially by his wife and young daughter.

“He was great, always had a smile on his face, was never angry, always had good things to say, always in a good mood and he loved riding – it was one of his favourite things to do.”

Popular ride

Another biker, who spoke to The Record on the condition of anonymity, said he has seen many Facebook posts from people who have clocked their times on the Strathcona Parkway – the road leading to/from Mount Washington Alpine Resort.

“I don’t know if [they time themselves] going up or down or both,” he said, adding that he prefers long-distance trips so doesn’t pay much attention to posts about speed runs.

“They try and see how fast they can go.”

He does not know if the deceased was involved in any such timed riding, but he says motorcyclists can be just as much a danger to themselves as other vehicles can.

“I’ve got a friend who works up there and he says he’s been passed coming down the hill in his truck – passed by motorcyclists going so fast it’s like they were shot out of a cannon,” he said. “It’s tough enough looking out for every idiot in a car, but the last couple of fatalities I’m aware of… it doesn’t appear these are anybody’s fault other than the motorcyclist.”

Monday’s tragedy is the second fatality of 2018 in the Comox Valley involving a motorcycle.

If anyone has information about this collision, please call the North Vancouver Island Traffic Services at 250-286-5646 and refer to file number 2018-471.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Vernon swimming pool is closed Friday. (morning star file photo)
Swim, skate and play fees rise 5% in Vernon

Weekend hours also reduced as rec centre struggles with fewer people and fewer funds

The team of horses is ready to pull riders for Caravan Farm Theatre’s sold-out Winter Sleigh-Ride Show of the Gift from Dec. 8-Jan.2. The Spallumcheen theatre company wants the province to include live theatre on its list of businesses allowed to operate during COVID-19. (File photo)
Spallumcheen theatre group plans for socially safe winter show to go on

Caravan Farm Theatre asks province to include live theatre on lists of businesses allowed to operate

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
104 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

IH is reporting the new numbers since Friday, Nov. 20

Lumby Mayor Kevin Acton (left) and Regional District North Okanagan Electoral Area D Rural Lumby director Rick Fairbairn (right) congratulate members of the Lumby and District Fire Department for receiving gold pin awards in response to a rollover accident in July 2020. (RDNO Photo)
Lumby firefighters golden in duty

Company presents firefighters with gold pin for heroic efforts following rollover crash

RCMP pictured at a motor vehicle incident during snowy conditions. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B&E, stolen car in Vernon lands Whitehorse man in cuffs

Suspect takes off on foot in attempts to evade arrest

The Animal Food Bank is asking for donations as the pandemic continues and the holidays approach. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Okanagan Animal Food Bank in need of donations as pandemic continues

The Animal Food Bank provides food for any domestic pet in need

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

A concept rendering of the proposed Costco at the corner of Baron, Leckie and Springfield roads. (WSP Global)
Contentious Kelowna Costco relocation moved to public hearing

Costco looking to move less than a kilometre away to build a larger store with more parking, gas bar

7-year-old Mackenzie Hodge from Penticton sent a hand-written letter to premiere John Horgan asking if she’d be able to see her elf, Ralph under the new coronavirus restrictions. (John Horgan / Twitter)
Elf on the shelf an acceptable house guest B.C. premier tells Okanagan girl

A 7-year-old from Penticton penned a letter asking if she’d be allowed to see her elf this year

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

Penticton Search and Rescue along with the Penticton Fire Department located and airlifted an injured 21-year-old female hiker Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. (Mike Biden photo)
Penticton search and rescue airlift injured hiker off mountain

There has been an unprecedented amount of calls for search and rescue this year

Most Read