© Copyright – 2015 – Victoria Sports News
Thirty-seven-year-old Saanich resident Ladislav Cumpelik, while cycling to work, narrowly missed being killed by a semi-trailer when he slid under it and then clutched the truck’s brake lines to avoid being run over on Thursday, September 3rd on West Saanich Road.
It is amazing that Cumpelik only suffered minor injuries after being dragged for 400 metres.
A passing motorist alerted the driver that there was someone under his truck, as the driver had no idea that anything had happened.
Cumpelik was cycling southbound downhill on West Saanich Road at approximately 6:40 a.m. when the truck in front of him stopped quickly to make a turn near Markham Street. Cumpelik couldn’t stop in time and lost control of his bicycle.
“I started skidding on my back. I didn’t have enough speed to go underneath the truck and right through to the other side, so instead … I grabbed onto his brake line and held on tight and started screaming,” Cumpelik told media from his hospital bed at Victoria General Hospital.
The driver could not hear Cumpelik screaming, so the driver continued to pick up speed. He considered letting himself go, but feared that he may not line up underneath properly and get run over by the tires. He held on for dear life in what he called a “death grip”.
The truck stopped and 911 was called; when the emergency response team arrived they found Cumpelik’s head was lodged between the axle and undercarriage. His arms were still wrapped around the brake lines. Paramedics pulled him out.
Cumpelik suffered a broken shoulder, cracked ribs and extensive road-rash.
“I’m so grateful that he made it,” his mother Markyta Cumpelik said.
Cumpelik and his family are especially thankful to the driver who motioned for the truck to stop.
“It was an interesting journey; I don’t wish it on anyone.”