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Cyclist Killed - Dempster Highway, Canada June 21 2023

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Cyclist Killed - Dempster Highway, Canada June 21 2023

Old 07-12-23, 12:12 AM
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Cyclist Killed - Dempster Highway, Canada June 21 2023

Vague news reports say that on June 21, 2023 a 64 year old female cyclist was killed by a truck on the Dempster Highway near kilometer 178 where the Dempster Highway crosses the Rengleng River north of Tsiigehtchic. That is a very remote area and no further reports of the results of a police investigation appear to have been published.

https://www.nnsl.com/news/female-cyc...pster-highway/

I talked to someone from Inuvik and they don't know much either. People up there are waiting for news about this horrible incident. I can tell you the "cyclist" was a cycletourist. Nobody else rides bikes on the Dempster Highway. The "truck" was not an 18-wheeler. It was a pickup truck. Secondhand information says the driver of the pickup truck that killed the cycletourist was the Fort McPherson drug dealer, who was apprehended by the RCMP. I don't know if there were witnesses.

In the above news article someone who says she is the sister of the dead cycletourist has written a comment:
"...cette cycliste décédée était ma sœur. Elle aimait les grands espaces, la flore. Le vélo était son mode de locomotion préférée, elle a voyagé dans de nombreux pays avec.
C’était une femme libre!"
Very sad.

This is the Google Street View of where the killing happened. There is a dip in the road at the Rengleng River but the rest of the Dempster Highway in this area is flat and straight. It's not a freeway. It's a narrow dirt road where caution must be exercised at all times when driving:

https://www.google.com/maps/@67.7553...6656?entry=ttu
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Old 07-12-23, 04:34 AM
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Sad. I don't know anything of the specifics here but this surprises me. I wouldn't describe the Dempster as narrow. The best surface for riding does change based on rain/snow/grading so I would ride on left/right/middle. Both gravel and sight lines meant I saw/heard most traffic. When I cycled, the ferry across the McKenzie River went once per hour and hence this "chunked" at least the northbound traffic into blocks with several cars/truck and then a gap. This is north of the Arctic Circle on the solstice so sun in the sky.

Agree with the need to be cautious overall, though this wouldn't have been high on my list of likely accident areas.
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Old 07-12-23, 04:52 AM
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sister's comment translated

...that deceased cyclist was my sister. She loved the wide open spaces, the flora. The bicycle was her preferred mode of transport, she traveled to many countries with it. She was a free woman!
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Old 07-12-23, 04:59 AM
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tragic, may she rest in peace. good reminder to travel w/ a partner?

what does this mean?

==============
A 64-year-old woman is dead following a collision with a truck on the Dempster Highway.At approximated 6:22 p.m on June 21, Inuvik RCMP say they were called to an electronic SOS saying a cyclist had been struck and killed by a truck near the Rangling River on Highway 8.
​​​​​​​==============

what is an electronic SOS? did someone send a text to the police dept? why don't they just say that? sounds like there was a witness, how else would the person who sent the "electronic SOS", know it was done by "a truck"
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Old 07-12-23, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
what is an electronic SOS? did someone send a text to the police dept? why don't they just say that?
Note this area is remote, I doubt any cell service. It is ~95km from the accident site to Inuvik so I'm assuming some form of satellite message service. There also aren't too many alternatives for vehicles to go (or likely many vehicles). South of there is a ferry crossing with a relatively small ferry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Louis_Cardinal and north to Inuvik no real side roads until you get close.

When I cycled this section, there would be a small set of cars/trucks that passed me (e.g. count on less than two hands) and then nothing for ~45 minutes until the next ferry let another group go northbound. Southbound there were almost no vehicles either.
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Old 07-12-23, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
what is an electronic SOS?
I don't know what they mean by that either. It could be something like the satellite SOS on some newer iPhones. There is a radio tower about 4 kilometers north of where this incident occurred that may have cell equipment on it now. Parts of the Northwest Territories have RapidSOS for geolocating calls.
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Old 07-12-23, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
tragic, may she rest in peace. good reminder to travel w/ a partner?
Being hit by a vehicle on the Dempster Highway is not something you would expect. As mev says, there is very little motorized traffic, you can detect approaching traffic approaching from very far way and there are clear lines of sight for the speed of motorized traffic.

The only reason I can think of for traveling with a partner on the Dempster Highway is to reduce your probability that you will be eaten by a Dempster Highway Grizzly Bear, if you are a faster rider than your partner.

The local speculation at the moment is that cycletourists on the Dempster Highway are in imminent danger from an impaired Fort McPherson drug dealer, who may or may not be in custody and may or may not end up (temporarily) in prison for killing the cycletourist in this thread:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north...rugs-1.6885584

Last edited by VomitSpeed; 07-12-23 at 02:17 PM. Reason: Note to self: Cycle with slower, tastier partner.
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Old 07-13-23, 04:57 AM
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electronic SOS could mean she, or someone pressed the button on InReach or epirb or something.

it could also mean iphone's crash detection system dialed out via satellite
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Old 07-13-23, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
tragic, may she rest in peace. good reminder to travel w/ a partner?
No, this is mostly gratuitous, unhelpful advice. It presumes people doing this aren't thinking about the risks/rewards.

Keep in mind that she wasn't "alone".

There's a very good chance she would have died anyway. Also, with a partner, there could have been two dead people.

Did the pickup get disabled or did the driver just leave?

The nearest "big town" is an hour drive away.


She either might have not had the option to travel with a partner or she was doing what she preferred.

Nothing is risk free.

Last edited by njkayaker; 07-13-23 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 07-13-23, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus
electronic SOS could mean she, or someone pressed the button on InReach or epirb or something.

it could also mean iphone's crash detection system dialed out via satellite
What was reported was poorly written.

At approximated 6:22 p.m on June 21, Inuvik RCMP say they were called to an electronic SOS saying a cyclist had been struck and killed by a truck near the Rangling River on Highway 8.
This is saying one of two things:
  1. The "electronic SOS" indicated "a cyclist had been struck and killed by a truck" (via a text message sent by someone not the cyclist?)
  2. The RCMP got to the scene and found "a cyclist had been struck and killed by a truck" after responding to a vague ""electronic SOS" (presumably automatically/manually from the cyclist's device).
How did they know it was a truck? (Looking at Google street view, it doesn't seem reasonable to assume it was a truck.)

Last edited by njkayaker; 07-13-23 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 07-13-23, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
tragic, may she rest in peace. good reminder to travel w/ a partner?
Originally Posted by njkayaker
No, this is mostly gratuitous unhelpful advice.
I think rumrunn was posing that as a question and not advice. Not that traveling with a partner would have made any difference in this case. However, I think some people must be asking themselves that same question about traveling with partners. I would say half the cycletourists on the Dempster Highway travel with partners (sometimes several partners).

Perhaps in the south homicidal motorists may be discouraged from killing cycletourists if the cycletourists are in a group. In the north the local motorists do not use their cars as weapons. The north is a different world of different people than the south and cycletouring alone is not more likely to lead to one's untimely demise than cycling in a group (and the stronger cyclists in a group could resort to cannibalism of weaker cyclists in a group because of the long distances between grocery stores). The Gwich'in and Inuvialuit people of the north are not the casually murderous barbarians we are accustomed to in the south.

Note that in the CBC news link I posted above that the local people in Fort McPherson revolted against a drug dealer on the same day a Fort McPherson drug dealer killed the cycletourist in this thread. In the northern communities it seems the drug dealers are always from the south (usually British Columbia, North America's hub for drug crime). The reporting is sketchy because of the usual absence of reporters in the area. The reporter is in Yellowknife, thousands of kilometers from Fort McPherson. Here is that link again:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north...rugs-1.6885584

Last edited by VomitSpeed; 07-13-23 at 12:51 PM. Reason: Cannibals made me do it.
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Old 07-13-23, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by VomitSpeed
I think rumrunn was posing that as a question and not advice.
It's not any better as a "question" (what I said applies to whatever you want to call it). To be clear, I don't think rumrunn intended anything bad.

The question is suggesting the person made a mistake travelling alone. It's suggesting she needed a "good reminder to travel w/ a partner" It's implicitly "victim blaming".

The "question" assumes people who decide to travel alone need that "reminder".

I suspect the she put a lot of careful thought into her answer to that question.

Originally Posted by VomitSpeed
Not that traveling with a partner would have made any difference in this case.
It could have been worse (two people dead). People "asking the question" need to be aware of that.

Originally Posted by VomitSpeed
However, I think some people must be asking themselves that same question about traveling with partners.
You are implying she (and other people) weren't already "asking themselves that same question about traveling with partners".

Originally Posted by VomitSpeed
I would say half the cycletourists on the Dempster Highway travel with partners (sometimes several partners).
So, half of the people decide that it's reasonable to ride alone. (That doesn't mean there aren't special risks doing that.)

Originally Posted by VomitSpeed
Perhaps in the south homicidal motorists may be discouraged from killing cycletourists if the cycletourists are in a group. In the north the local motorists do not use their cars as weapons. The north is a different world of different people than the south and cycletouring alone is not more likely to lead to one's untimely demise than cycling in a group (and the stronger cyclists in a group could resort to cannibalism of weaker cyclists in a group because of the long distances between grocery stores). The Gwich'in and Inuvialuit people of the north are not the casually murderous barbarians we are accustomed to in the south.
Huh?

We sort of have to assume the "null hypothesis" that the rate of "homicidal motorists" is roughly the same in any population. Contrary to what you are implying, "homicidal motorists" are very rare in the populous "south". Given that there's no one up there, one could expect there to be no "homicidal motorists" in that tiny population by simple chance. Without needing to resort to the (rather offensive) notion that "southern" people are especially "casually murderous barbarians".

Originally Posted by VomitSpeed
...it seems the drug dealers are always from the south (usually British Columbia, North America's hub for drug crime).
???

Last edited by njkayaker; 07-13-23 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 07-13-23, 07:14 PM
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Two factors dramatically increase risk to cycling tourists.
1. Rate of alcohol-impaired and/or drug-impaired driving.
2. Rate of distracted driving. (Read cell phone use)

That's why I urge caution on summer holiday weekends around parks and reservoirs.

As for the whole north/south thing.
Unfortunately, alcohol and drug issues are at epidemic proportions
in many Native and First Nations rural areas - esp. the Far North.
Impaired driving is a serious issue in Alaska, the Yukon, and the NWT.
And not just among Native and First Nations people.

"Despite strong efforts by our community and the RCMP,
the Yukon continues to have one of the highest rates for impaired driving in Canada.
It is vital that we keep our communities safe from drug and alcohol impaired drivers."


- The Honourable Tracy-Anne McPhee, Minister of Justice

https://www.newswire.ca/news-release...817610731.html
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Old 07-13-23, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by VomitSpeed
Vague news reports say ...
I talked to someone from Inuvik and they don't know much either....
I can tell you.....
Secondhand information says...
I don't know if there were witnesses.
The local speculation at the moment is...
homicidal motorists....
local motorists do not use their cars as weapons.....
casually murderous barbarians....
a Fort McPherson drug dealer killed the cycletourist......
you seem to be spreading quite a lot of third-hand unsubstantiated rumors.
you don't know what happened, don't know who it was, don't know what kind of vehicle, don't know who was driving, don't know if driver was impaired.
but you've made a lot of assumptions and claims of an allegedly impaired alleged drug dealer in an alleged pickup and alleged homicidal motorists.

Originally Posted by VomitSpeed
...local people in Fort McPherson revolted against a drug dealer on the same day...
which has nothing to do with the accident, except in your mind.
why not take the nice police advice and not stir up hate until you have some facts.
after all, anything could have happened. it's possible the elderly cyclist could have run a top-heavy bike through some mud and fallen off in front of the truck. it's possible the cyclist, unconcerned with traffic out in the wilderness, was concentrating on her cell phone and rode into the path of the truck. we just don't know.

Originally Posted by RCMP
...RCMP warn against 'vigilante' activity..
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Old 07-14-23, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by jamawani
As for the whole north/south thing.
That paragraph wasn't exactly coherent.
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Old 07-14-23, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
you seem to be spreading quite a lot of third-hand unsubstantiated rumors.
you don't know what happened, don't know who it was, don't know what kind of vehicle, don't know who was driving, don't know if driver was impaired.
but you've made a lot of assumptions and claims of an allegedly impaired alleged drug dealer in an alleged pickup...
Yeah, that paragraph in the first post is very weird too!
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Old 07-14-23, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
That paragraph wasn't exactly coherent.
Too often, one reads what one expects to read.
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Old 07-14-23, 07:42 AM
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Clearly closed.
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