Longboarding mishaps trigger frightening memory for North Vancouver Driver

Posted: June 7, 2013 by kirisyko in Boarding, Long Boarding
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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Chuck Duffy says the accident still sends chills down his spine.

A resident of the Canyon Heights area of North Vancouver, Duffy was driving just blocks from his home in February 2012 when a longboarder rounded a corner and hit the front grille of his Ford Ranger.

The high-speed impact sent the teenager sprawling on to the hood of his truck, leaving Duffy badly shaken at what could have been a horrible accident.

The longboarder managed to walk away from the accident with only scrapes and bruises, but Duffy said he was very lucky.

“Nobody should have to go through that,” he said of the accident.

“Watching him hit my truck, you are thinking you have hurt him really badly,” he said. “This shouldn’t happen to anyone.”

Duffy was so upset about the crash that he started a petition to ban longboarders from all District of North Vancouver streets.

Recent accidents in the Metro Vancouver area have reminded him of the risk involved when longboarders use public streets.

Duffy’s petition has hundreds of signatures from residents who object to the longboarders ripping down the areas’s steep streets.

But he pointed out that since he gave the document to district councillors, nothing has changed.

On Wednesday two longboarders were sent to hospital in serious condition after a crash in West Vancouver on Camridge Road, where longboarding is prohibited and normally penalized with a $45 bylaw fine.

According to West Vancouver police, the two men were cruising downhill in the 1300-block of Camridge when they swerved to avoid an oncoming car, but then crashed into a parked truck.

The pair, aged 21 and 23, were released from hospital on Thursday.

Residents living along Camridge Road said the longboarding is getting out of hand in the British Properties.

“They shouldn’t be longboarding here. It is too dangerous,” said resident May Concepcion. “It is a long and winding road, and when you are driving it is really hard to see them,” she said. “There are a lot of them up here on the weekends when it is sunny.”

That accident came two weeks after a longboarder was sent to hospital in critical condition after hitting the car that was towing him. The 17-year-old student from West Vancouver’s Rockridge Secondary was not wearing a helmet. He remains in hospital.

In 2010 two longboarding deaths were reported, one of them in an accident where a longboarder going down Mount Seymour Road hit a vehicle.

According to Erian Baxter, whose son Quinn Dubois is a top competitive longboarder, the sport is growing rapidly and some enthusiasts are not hearing the message about wearing a helmet.

“Even if it is banned, you still have teenagers doing it on the roads,” she said. “There needs to be more helmet education. It is about teenagers making the right choices.”

Baxter pointed out that the various competitions around the province let the longboarders ride down a closed-off street, making it a lot safer.

She would like to see hilly streets like Mount Seymour Road or the Cypress Bowl road shut down at various times to vehicular traffic so longboarders can go down safely.

“This is a new sport and it is unfortunate there have been these serious accidents.” she said.


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