Dr. Rachel Staples has been recovering at the Victoria General Hospital since getting struck by a vehicle Dec. 4. (Courtesy of Rachel Staples)

Dr. Rachel Staples has been recovering at the Victoria General Hospital since getting struck by a vehicle Dec. 4. (Courtesy of Rachel Staples)

B.C. woman with 18 fractures has a warning for all drivers, cyclists

Oak Bay woman has been recovering in hospital since morning commute incident in Colwood

From her hospital bed, an Oak Bay woman is asking drivers – and cyclists – to slow down and be cautious after she was struck during her morning commute.

Dr. Rachel Staples suffered more than 18 fractures, a broken nose and several injuries to her face after she was hit by a vehicle the morning of Dec. 4.

Because her car wasn’t properly insured, Staples had decided to use her husband’s electric bicycle to get to her newly-opened dental practice in Colwood that morning. Around 7:40 a.m. she was using the Wale Road crosswalk, designated for cyclists.

“I waited for two cars to go and looked both ways and got back on my bike and rode across. And I must have got to that second lane. That’s all I remember from that part.”

READ ALSO: Cyclist dies from injuries after Friday night collision at Harriet, Gorge

The moments that followed the impact are fuzzy. When she woke on the ground, her mouth was full of blood. She thought her teeth had been knocked out until she realized her mouth was full of gravel.

Dr. Rachel Staples’ knee was split open and fractured when she was struck by a vehicle while cycling on Dec. 4. (Courtesy of Rachel Staples)

She was wearing goggles over her glasses, which had shattered underneath. Her knee had a compound fracture, she had perforated lungs and several fractured ribs. Her nose was broken and there were several cuts to her face.

When she was struck, Staples was wearing a helmet, a neon jacket and helmet and reflective pants. Her bike was equipped with electric lights.

Staples, a Greater Victoria dentist and breast cancer survivor, was in the news last year when she testified at an inquest into the overdose death of her 16-year-old son, Elliot Eurchuk. Now recovering in the trauma acute care unit at the Victoria General Hospital, it’s unlikely Staples will spend Christmas with her family.

READ ALSO: Breast cancer survivors, patients, loved ones band together Sunday in Saanich

READ ALSO: Jury makes recommendations following inquest into overdose death of Oak Bay teen

“Things seem to happen in the blink of an eye,” she said. “We’re a city of commuters and, I mean, a bicycle is not going to fare very well with a 2000-pound vehicle.

“Take your time … there’s no rush.”

West Shore RCMP Const. Nancy Saggar told Black Press Media that a vehicle driven by a 69-year-old woman hit a cyclist that morning. Police ruled out impairment, but the driver was issued a ticket for driving without reasonable consideration, which comes with a $196 fine and a six penalty points.

Despite being able to do little other than listen to audio books and stare out the window while she recovers, Staples said she feels bad for the driver.

“I have empathy for her because I can’t imagine what it must feel like to have that happen,” Staples said. “I know how I would feel.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

READ ALSO: Cyclist killed in Maple Ridge was just beginning a cross-Canada ride


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

car crashCyclingGreater VictoriaVictoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nurse Vicki Niemi administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Joyce, 88, on Mar. 23, 2020 at the Terrace Sportsplex. All adults in Terrace are now eligible to register for a COVID-19 vaccination. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
All adults in Terrace can now register for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment

Community members can register by calling 833-838-2323 or visiting getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca

April 2020 to March 2021 was the second wettest year on record since at least 1969, according to Environment Canada. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
VIDEO: Terrace records wettest spell in over a half-century

Terrace saw close to 1,500 millimetres of precipitation between April 2020 and March 2021

Terrace fire department responded to a call from Skeena Saw Mills at the early hours of Friday morning. (Binny Paul/ Terrace Standard)
UPDATE: Fire crews respond to early morning incident at Skeena Sawmills

No injuries were reported as mill workers immediately alerted the fire department after seeing smoke

Terrace Tim Hortons on Keith Ave. experienced a fire during the morning of April 4, 2021. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
Nature of Tim Hortons fire made it difficult to detect: Deputy fire chief

Fire likely burned undetected inside a wall, resulting in extensive damage

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Most Read