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Highway claims motorcyclist

Two others injured in weekend crash near Lion's Bay



One motorcyclist died and two others were injured in a six-vehicle midday crash on Saturday on the Sea to Sky highway.

Richard Sanchez, 31, of Vancouver, was one of three motorcyclists traveling northbound when he was killed at approximately 12:40 p.m. just south of the Tunnel Point lookout three kilometres north of Lion’s Bay.

Witnesses say the three riders had been driving carelessly, weaving in and out of traffic shortly before straying into oncoming southbound traffic.

According to Wayne Tuuri of Pemberton, Sanchez was struck when he crossed the centre line into the path of a Ford F350. Sanchez’s motorcycle continued traveling, hitting a southbound Suzuki XL7, sending it spinning and blowing the SUV’s tires.

Tuuri stopped his vehicle and ran to the scene.

"It was obvious the rider was dead," Tuuri said.

As a result of scattered debris the two other riders also spilled, one ending up wedged under a Ford pickup. The truck was lifted onto blocks to retrieve the rider who was then airlifted to Lion’s Gate hospital, where he remains in critical condition at press time.

The third motorcyclist was treated at the scene but did not require hospitalization.

The highway was closed for nine hours as police investigated. The accident occurred in a tight section of two consecutive curves, said Corporal Dave Ritchie of Squamish RCMP. Road conditions were good and weather was clear.

"There are responsible motorcyclists and there are irrational motorcyclists taking a lot of risks," Ritchie said.

That section of the highway does not have a centre barrier.

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