Three dead after vehicle hits cyclists

Highway 99 north of Mt. Currie closed in both directions following tragedy

Two experienced cyclists from the Whistler Cycling Club are dead after an alleged drunk driver hit a group of three people biking on Highway 99 north of Mt. Currie on Sunday (May 31) morning.

A passenger in the vehicle was also killed.

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RCMP was called to the scene around 15 km east of the Birkenhead River at 11:58 a.m. Officials say the driver of the vehicle has been airlifted to hospital. "He's been airlifted to Vancouver hospital and we've had a member fly in the helicopter with him," said Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair, with the Whistler and Pemberton RCMP detachment.

The highway remains closed in both directions as police investigate.

Next of kin have been notified, but police are waiting until extended family and friends have been told about the tragedy before they release any information about the victims.

"RCMP Victim Services has been called in to assist friends and family during this tragedy," LeClair said, in a release.

Gary Baker, vice president of the cycling club, confirmed that the two men killed were from the club and lived in Whistler. Club members were devestated to hear the news, he said. "It's very emotional," he said. "All people are doing is crying."

He didn't want to reveal the men's names until police formally released them, but he said they were experienced riders who were deeply involved in the club. "They rode up the Duffey past Joffre to the salt sheds at the top," he said. "Then they were riding down and two of them were faster riders than the third. They were coming down... and apparently the driver crossed the line and hit them." 

His message: "Don't drink and drive." 

LeClair said because the location is remote with spotty cell phone service he wasn't sure whether the third cyclist was injured at all. Baker also said he didn't know. "Once we are able to interview witnesses and get a better look at the scene, we'll know more," LeClair added. 

Officers are asking anyone who witnessed the crash to call RCMP at 604-894-6634.

- With files from Whistler Publishing

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