A 32-year-old Australian man living in Whistler was injured just before 3 a.m. Saturday, July 5 after being struck head-on by a taxi while riding his bike at the entrance of Whistler Way and Highway 99, said police.
While police were unable to confirm the man's name, friends have identified the injured cyclist as Alex Attard, an Australian living and working in Whistler since 2006. He suffered a broken femur, two broken eye sockets, bleeding of the brain and is currently recovering from leg surgery in a Vancouver hospital, where he was transported by air ambulance. Friends said he is responsive and is expected to make a full recovery.
"It turns out it was a head-on collision between the bike and taxi cab that was turning on Whistler Way," said Cpl. Diane Blain with the Whistler RCMP. "It’s a fairly dark area, so the cabbie wouldn’t have seen him until he was on him."
The cyclist had a strobe light installed on the back of his bike, and was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, according to police.
The investigation is ongoing, but Blain noted that alcohol wasn't a factor in the accident. The RCMP has yet to determine if charges will be laid, but Blain said "it's not looking like it's heading in that direction at this point."
A Facebook page called "Support Alex Attard" was established Sunday, July 6 by a friend to post updates on Attard's condition and raise funds for his family. Donations can be made at www.almantheman.com. There will also be a fundraiser held on Monday, July 14 at Creekbread, with a portion of every pizza sold going to Attard's family.
"You’ve probably met Alex Attard," the page reads. "He’s been a Whistler local since 2006 and is one of the nicest, most genuine guys you’ll ever meet in Whistler."
Visit www.facebook.com/AlexAttardSupport for more information.
Check back with Pique as more details emerge.