A Lac La Hache cyclist is back home after spending a month in hospital, following a collision with a car on Highway 97.
John Aikema, 61, said he doesn’t remember the crash, which occurred in early November at the north end of Lac La Hache between Dunsmuir Road and Wright Station Road. Aikema was airlifted to Royal Inland Hospital with serious injuries, including a blood clot on his brain, a broken jaw and two missing teeth.
In an interview last week, he said one side of his face is still numb but he’s “not bad.”
“I can’t talk quite yet,” he said.
Aikema, who often cycled to the Canco Lac La Hache for a coffee and newspaper, said he was riding as usual against traffic when the collision occurred. He tends to ride facing traffic, he said, because he doesn’t have a mirror on his bicycle to see what’s coming up behind him on the highway.
When he woke up in hospital later, he had no idea what happened. “I didn’t see it coming,” he said, noting the two-kilometre trip was part of his daily routine. “I never had no trouble until Nov. 4.”
Aikema said aside from seven stitches and the numbness in his face, he realizes he is lucky to be alive. “If it was a highway rig with a machine on it and it rolled over my head, I’d be dead,” he said.
Aikema, a former mechanic, has been living in Lac La Hache for the past three years.
100 Mile RCMP Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen said no charges will be laid against the driver involved in the collision.