A police car speeds westbound on Highway 1A outside Brandon to the scene of a collision between an SUV and a cyclist around 8 p.m. on Monday. Graeme Loader of Toronto, who was cycling across the country to raise money for the World Wildlife Foundation, was transported to hospital, where he was pronounced dead. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
A cyclist killed Monday evening after he was hit by an SUV was biking across the country raising money for the World Wildlife Foundation’s conservation efforts.
Graeme Loader, 24, of Toronto was struck by an SUV on Highway 1A, near Mulligan’s Driving Range, shortly after 8 p.m.
In a post written by WWF community engagement officer Kyla Marshall approximately two weeks ago, she described Loader as "not an avid biker, but he is an avid adventurer guided by love and respect for wildlife and nature."
He flew to Vancouver with his bike on July 15, planning on biking all the way to the East Coast, according to his personal blog, where he kept running photos of his journey.
Loader was biking east when an SUV travelling in the same direction struck him. He was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police said it remains unclear if he was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, although a helmet was located at the scene.
RCMP spokeswoman Tara Seel said Loader didn’t have a trailing vehicle, something that isn’t mandatory, but does help to increase safety.
"He was cycling alone and there were no permits applied for to our knowledge," Seel said.
Approximately 7,500 cyclists are seriously injured on Canadian roads every year, according to data from Statistics Canada, with one out of every three cyclist deaths occurring at night or when there is artificial lighting.
Seel said there have been two cyclists killed in 2014 in RCMP jurisdictions. In 2013, there were three killed, while 2012 and 2011 each saw two deaths.
Highway 1A is a provincial road with traffic in both directions.
"It’s a gravel shoulder, but there is about six to 12 inches of pavement between the fog line and the gravel shoulder," Seel said.
A full investigation into the crash is taking place.
Police don’t believe alcohol to be a factor and have not pressed charges against the 28-year-old Sioux Valley woman who was driving the vehicle.
Her three passengers were unhurt.
» Twitter: @CharlesTweed
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 3, 2014