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Shown is the scene of an early morning collision on the John St. bridge on Wednesday, Jan. 24, when a person in a wheelchair was struck by a vehicle. The photo of the wheelchair shows the seat several feet away, suggesting the occupant was thrown from the chair upon impact. Fortunately, police say the man suffered only minor injuries and was transported to WN General Hospital.
According to police, the incident occurred around 8:30 a.m. when the motorized wheelchair was travelling east across the bridge. Initial reports indicate the wheelchair was on the road portion rather than on the cleared sidewalk.
“It’s still under investigation by one of our officers. …Emergency Services responded but the road wasn’t closed. He sustained some injuries, but not life-threatening,” stated WN Police Inspector Ray St-Pierre.
At press time it was not clear whether charges had been laid in the incident. Photographs taken at the scene showed that the sidewalk on the north side of the bridge had been cleared for foot traffic. Inspector St-Pierre did say that where possible, motorized assistive devices such as electric wheelchairs should travel on sidewalks as they fall under the same guidelines as pedestrians. “There’s the bylaw and there’s the Highway Traffic Act. Motor assisted bicycles and mopeds and scooters should be on sidewalks. …Wheelchairs and scooters should be on sidewalks. If they are on the roadway because there is no sidewalk, they should be travelling facing traffic,” he explained.
St-Pierre said more information would be provided once he received an incident report.