Cycling safety at the forefront of memorial ride for Kamloops cyclist killed by truck

The Kamloops Cycling Coalition has organized the memorial ride in honor of Dr. Andrew van der Westhuizen, who died after colliding with a truck while biking on Highland Road.


The Kamloops Cycling Coalition (KCC) is hosting a memorial ride on Saturday, August 6, in honor of the Kamloops doctor who died after colliding with a transport truck while biking on a multi-use path off Highland Road. at Juniper Ridge.

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Andrew van der Westhuizen, who was a radiologist at the Royal Inland Hospital, died of his injuries on June 30, after spending weeks in hospital following the May 11 crash. He collided with the truck, which was headed in the same direction, when he turned right, crossing the multi-use road to enter a landfill for ongoing construction in the area.

“The Kamloops cycling community has been rocked by the passing of Andrew van der Westhuizen,” read a KCC social media post. “This tragedy highlights the bike safety issues in our city. Many bicyclists have had near misses similar to this. We are heartbroken by the loss of Andrew’s life, by the grief of his wife Jen, his children, his extended family, friends, neighbors and the medical community in which he served.”

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The entrance to a site on Highland Road where cyclist Dr. Andrew van der Westhuizen was struck by a tanker truck on May 11, 2022. Michael Potestio/KTW
The entrance to a site on Highland Road where cyclist Dr. Andrew van der Westhuizen was struck by a tanker truck on May 11, 2022. Michael Potestio/KTW jpg

With the endorsement of Andrew’s wife, Jen van der Westhuizen, who told KTW that she will attend the memorial ride, the KCC is inviting cyclists from all over Kamloops to participate.

Starting at 10 am at the Juniper Bike Ranch parking lot at the top of Highland Road, cyclists will bike the multi-use trail, following Andrew’s route.

Participating cyclists will separate in a procession line and stop at the scene of the collision, where a moment of silence will be held. The event will then conclude with the participating cyclists continuing to slowly make their way down the hill, safely dispersing.

On May 11, Andrew was cycling to meet his two-year-old son, Jen, at the bottom of the hill, where they were to pick up their six-year-old daughter at a bus stop. Andrew’s parents were riding bicycles with him when the crash occurred. The multi-use road he was traveling on is separated from traffic by concrete barriers, but there is a gap at the entrance to the landfill where Andrew was struck.

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That access road had a locked gate shortly after the accident, which remained in place until August 4. Kamloops City Transportation Manager Purvez Irani told KTW that the municipality intends to monitor traffic activity along Highland Road over the summer to determine if any improvements and/or projects should be implemented. pilot to improve safety along the corridor.

Jen told KTW that she is overwhelmed and grateful for the outpouring of support from the Kamloops community, neighbors and her husband’s colleagues.

“It’s a great testament to the kind of human being he was,” Jen said, adding that the response shows how wide-ranging Andrew’s kindness went. She said she has received messages of support from people “all over the place,” from people she doesn’t know, but who had a connection to Andrew.

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“The exaggerated words are how kind he was and the way he made people feel was such a positive impact and we are grateful to the community that came together to put on the memorial bike ride and blood clinics that will appear in the honor. Andrew’s,” Jen said.

The memorial ride will help highlight bike safety while also honoring Andrew, Jen said, adding that more information will be available about an upcoming blood drive clinic at RIH honoring Andrew. The Andrew Memorial Donor Awareness Event will take place in the new Royal Inland Hospital Atrium on Wednesday 10th August at 10am

Jen said a large number of people have signed up for the clinic, which means more time slots have had to be added.

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“It’s overwhelmingly amazing that awareness is helping to clear up the blood donation issue and that people are doing it,” he said.

Jen said her family will also donate a memorial bench for Andrew at the bike ranch, noting that she and her daughter will say goodbye to Kamloops at the private event in Juniper Park after the memorial ride.

“We are very sad to leave the Kamloops community and our network here,” he said.

Jen said the family moved to Kamloops from the Lower Mainland a year ago for Andrew’s career and have now moved to Campbell River to be closer to family. Jen also pointed out that her house in Kamloops overlooked Andrew’s accident site, and she explained that it would have been too difficult to continue living in the house and passing by every day as she traveled in and out of the neighborhood. The route past the crash site is just a road in and out of Juniper Ridge.

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“It’s a little too raw and really difficult, so we moved back with our family,” Jen said.

A celebration of life for Andrew will be held in his hometown of Victoria on August 13. It will be broadcast live, a link to which will be available at

The family has asked those who wish to make a monetary donation in Andrew’s memory to send contributions to BC Children’s Hospital or the Ronald McDonald House. People can make a non-monetary donation in Andrew’s honor by signing up for organ donation through BC Transplant or blood donation through Canadian Blood Services, according to the KCC, something Jen has asked people to consider since. the collision.

Andrew’s former colleagues in Victoria and the RIH Medical Staff Association have organized a blood donation team.

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