Fatal motorcycle crash sparks push for safety


Flowers mark the intersection where Rodger Hargreaves died after his motorcycle collided with a truck this week. On Friday, two dozen motorcyclists rode past the spot three times, before observing a moment of silence at nearby Rudd Park. 

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Don Goodeve, who did not know Hargreaves, organized the group ride to raise awareness that motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable in traffic.

“We rely on the vigilance of other road users,” Goodeve said. “We do everything to make ourselves obvious, clear and present, and yet there is carelessness that happens.”

Goodeve said he does not want to see another motorcycle fatality added to the statistics without any meaningful changes.

“What do we need to do to actually change the culture of road users so that traffic accidents like this do not occur?” he asked.

Hargreaves, 58, collided with a truck making a left-hand turn at the intersection of Boleskine and Whittier roads about 12:30 p.m. Monday and died of his injuries. Saanich police are still investigating the crash, and no charges have been laid.

Motorcycle rider David McGoogan was a neighbour of Hargreaves and would often see him riding off on his bike. McGoogan met him at a neighbourhood gathering and got the impression that Hargreaves was a cautious rider.

“He seemed to be a very considerate rider for his safety and the safety of other road users,” McGoogan said.

Jeremy Hughes said he has had so many close calls with other vehicles, that he has come to the conclusion that motorcyclists are “invisible.”

Randy DeBin said when a 400-pound motorcycle collides with a 4,000-pound vehicle, even a minor crash can leave the motorcycle driver with serious injuries.

The number of motorcyclists injured in crashes rose last year, according to the Insurance Corp. of B.C., with 1,600 motorcyclists injured in 2,600 crashes. That compares with 1,500 motorcyclists injured in 2015. Thirty-two motorcyclists died in B.C. in 2015. ICBC has not yet released data on motorcycle fatalities last year.

On Vancouver Island, 310 motorcyclists were injured in 520 crashes last year. On average, six motorcyclists are killed in crashes each year on the Island.

Hargreaves was remembered as a passionate educator who cared deeply for students and his wife and two daughters. He worked as a career co-ordinator for the Sooke school district in 2012 and most recently worked with Camosun College’s South Island Partnership office. Hargreaves worked with high school students who attended Camosun full time to pursue a career in trades.


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