Dr. Rachel Staples has been recovering at the Victoria General Hospital since getting struck by a vehicle Dec. 4. (Courtesy of Rachel Staples)

Dr. Rachel Staples has been recovering at the Victoria General Hospital since getting struck by a vehicle Dec. 4. (Courtesy of Rachel Staples)

B.C. woman with 18 fractures has a warning for all drivers, cyclists

Oak Bay woman has been recovering in hospital since morning commute incident in Colwood

From her hospital bed, an Oak Bay woman is asking drivers – and cyclists – to slow down and be cautious after she was struck during her morning commute.

Dr. Rachel Staples suffered more than 18 fractures, a broken nose and several injuries to her face after she was hit by a vehicle the morning of Dec. 4.

Because her car wasn’t properly insured, Staples had decided to use her husband’s electric bicycle to get to her newly-opened dental practice in Colwood that morning. Around 7:40 a.m. she was using the Wale Road crosswalk, designated for cyclists.

“I waited for two cars to go and looked both ways and got back on my bike and rode across. And I must have got to that second lane. That’s all I remember from that part.”

READ ALSO: Cyclist dies from injuries after Friday night collision at Harriet, Gorge

The moments that followed the impact are fuzzy. When she woke on the ground, her mouth was full of blood. She thought her teeth had been knocked out until she realized her mouth was full of gravel.

Dr. Rachel Staples’ knee was split open and fractured when she was struck by a vehicle while cycling on Dec. 4. (Courtesy of Rachel Staples)

She was wearing goggles over her glasses, which had shattered underneath. Her knee had a compound fracture, she had perforated lungs and several fractured ribs. Her nose was broken and there were several cuts to her face.

When she was struck, Staples was wearing a helmet, a neon jacket and helmet and reflective pants. Her bike was equipped with electric lights.

Staples, a Greater Victoria dentist and breast cancer survivor, was in the news last year when she testified at an inquest into the overdose death of her 16-year-old son, Elliot Eurchuk. Now recovering in the trauma acute care unit at the Victoria General Hospital, it’s unlikely Staples will spend Christmas with her family.

READ ALSO: Breast cancer survivors, patients, loved ones band together Sunday in Saanich

READ ALSO: Jury makes recommendations following inquest into overdose death of Oak Bay teen

“Things seem to happen in the blink of an eye,” she said. “We’re a city of commuters and, I mean, a bicycle is not going to fare very well with a 2000-pound vehicle.

“Take your time … there’s no rush.”

West Shore RCMP Const. Nancy Saggar told Black Press Media that a vehicle driven by a 69-year-old woman hit a cyclist that morning. Police ruled out impairment, but the driver was issued a ticket for driving without reasonable consideration, which comes with a $196 fine and a six penalty points.

Despite being able to do little other than listen to audio books and stare out the window while she recovers, Staples said she feels bad for the driver.

“I have empathy for her because I can’t imagine what it must feel like to have that happen,” Staples said. “I know how I would feel.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

READ ALSO: Cyclist killed in Maple Ridge was just beginning a cross-Canada ride


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

car crashCyclingGreater VictoriaVictoria

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

Just Posted

Record-setting high jumper Emma de Boer, who lives in Cloverdale and attends Holy Cross Regional High School in Fleetwood, will train and study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) next fall. (submitted photo)
Surrey jumper on a high after recruitment by UPenn track team

High jumper Emma de Boer aims to leave Cloverdale for Philadelphia next fall

Surrey RCMP Gang Enforcement Team street check. (File photo)
Surrey RCMP gang enforcement team seizes five vehicles

This was over 13 days, as SGET continues to target gang activity in this city

File photo
Surrey to borrow $150 million for three major recreation projects

That’s for a sports complex in the city centre, a sports and ice complex in Cloverdale and a community centre in Newton

The White Birch proposal for a six-storey rental-only building at 1485 Fir St. was turned down by council on Monday night. (Contributed rendering)
White Birch developer feels ‘betrayed’ by City of White Rock council

Application for new rental building at 1485 Fir St. turned down by council

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
RCMP appeal for witnesses after hit-and-run leaves girl, 17, in critical condition

The Metro Vancouver teenager was found unconscious and critically injured after being hit: police

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

Most Read