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

Theo's now delivering to Summerland
Penticton Greek restaurant now delivering to Summerland

Theo’s restaurant is the first to deliver food to Summerland in their ‘Squidmobile’

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen will speed up the process for hospitality businesses looking to set up patios during the latest COVID-19 restrictions. Under the most recent restrictions, indoor dining is prohibited, but patio dining is allowed. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen speeds up patio permit approval

Initiative to help hospitality businesses affected by latest COVID-19 restrictions

Firefighters responded to a house fire on Banks Crescent in Summerland on Friday afternoon. The fire began as a stovetop fire but resulted in significant damages. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Fire results in damage to Summerland home

Crews called on Friday, April 9 following stovetop fire

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

The Town of Oliver’s Town Offices, which the town wants to get designated a heritage site. (Black Press)
Oliver council to weigh nixing alerts for water leaks

Staff say the policy has served its purpose in fixing the majority of leaks

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.[CDC]
More COVID-19 exposures reported at schools in Kelowna

Interior Health added additional schools and dates to their list of exposures

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Sun Peaks is tracking rising COVID-19 cases. (Kamloops This Week Photo)
Sun Peaks sees spike in COVID-19 cases at end of ski season

On April 9, there were 15 positive cases confirmed.

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Winter driving conditions returned to the Coquihalla Highway on April 10. (ICBC image)
Coquihalla motorists warned of fresh snow

Five to 10 cm of snow is expected today for the mountain highway.

Most Read