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

Just Posted

Kevin Kelly, and his wife and hereditary chief Marilyn Gabriel. (Langley Advance Times files)
Leaked memo shows head of Kwantlen business group ‘unavailable’

Earlier this month a letter about “allegations” in the businesses was sent to band members

Langley Lodge CEO Debra Hauptman, B.C. seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie and Shannon Woykin, Langley Meals on Wheels, took part in the recent seniors summit. (Photo composite)
COVID shone harsh spotlight on Langley seniors health and wellness issues

Isolation, housing, food insecurity and more discussed at recent seniors summit

Langley Arts Council has launched a new Facebook page for local artists to submit projects and keep in contact. (Special to The Star)
Langley Arts Council launches Facebook page for local art community to connect

Artists, artisans, creators, photographers, and musicians can share upcoming gigs, exhibitions

Volunteers Jessica Horst (L) and Angela Womitowy (center) and Lisa Dreves, LEPS Stewardship Coordinator (R) stand in the middle of a clearing they hacked out near Betrand Creek on Saturday, May 15 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Battling invading plants in Langley

May is invasive species month in BC. It isn’t a celebration.

(Black Press Media file)
VIDEO: Langley RCMP officer takes down robbery suspect

Brookswood residents impressed by police response to backyard bandit

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, at press conference Monday. (Submitted photo)
Crime Stoppers receiving $200K from province for ‘Guns and Gangs’ tip line campaign

Executive director Linda Annis broke the news Monday morning in Surrey

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Most Read