Cyclist injured after colliding with strap pulling improperly towed vehicle

A 72-year-old cyclist is in hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries after a serious collision Sunday afternoon involving a driver improperly towing a broken-down vehicle.

Victoria police officers were called to the intersection of Oswego and Belleville streets shortly before 1 p.m.

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The driver of the vehicle arrived in Victoria on the Coho ferry from Port Angeles, but couldn’t drive off the ferry, because his car wouldn’t start. The vehicle was pushed off the ferry instead.

The man then rented a car and attached his own vehicle to the rental car.

A photo shared on the website Reddit.com shows the two vehicles connected with what appears to be an emergency tow strap. This type of strap is designed for short-term towing needs, like pulling a vehicle out of a ditch. The strap appears to be attached to a trailer hitch on the back of the first car and tied to the bottom of the front bumper of the towed car.

The two cars were separated by about a car-length. The photo shows the first car facing west on Belleville Street, while the second car remains around the corner on the ferry ramp.

The cyclist was riding westbound on Belleville Street when he hit the tow strap, which the photo shows a couple of feet off the ground. The man was taken to hospital with injuries described as potentially life-threatening.

Const. Matt Rutherford called the incident “quite concerning.” He confirmed that the vehicle was being improperly towed, and said the investigation is ongoing.

The area around the collision was closed to traffic for several hours following the crash.

regan-elliott@timescolonist.com

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