Wilmot holds the helmet she was wearing when the truck hit her in late July. (Brieanna Charlebois/Morning Star)

B.C. woman praises helmet after truck runs over her head

“Wearing a helmet saved my life.”

Vernon, B.C. — Eleanor Wilmot, 66, is sure she’d be dead if she wasn’t wearing a biking helmet when she was struck by an oncoming truck.

It was a smouldering Friday afternoon in late July when she — expecting company — decided to make a grocery run on her bike in Vernon. She strapped on her helmet like she usually did and made her way to the store; routine.

Afterwards, groceries and fresh flowers resting in her bike basket, she began her ride home. She had just made her way into the intersection between 43rd Avenue and 27th Street when she was hit.

“I always go through the sidestreets but this intersection was hard to avoid. The truck was turning at the same time and suddenly I was under it,” Wilmot said. “The truck was so high that I’m sure he didn’t even see me.”

Related: Cyclist struck in morning crash

Related: B.C. cyclist’s bike dragged several blocks after hit and run

Related: Bicycle helmets are the law

The next thing she remembers is being stuck, pinned beneath the truck with passersby telling her to try to hold still and wait for the paramedics.

“I just remember the heat,” she said. “The waiting was the worst because it was a hot day and there was lots of summer traffic and I just remember wearing shorts and a sleeveless top, laying spread eagle on the pavement. It felt like I was being barbequed on the pavement so it seemed like forever before the paramedics arrived.”

Wilmot’s husband Glen Nikasari was at Canadian Tire when he got the call telling him his wife was in the hospital.

“I talked to the paramedics and they said that when they showed up, they thought she was dead from the way she was positioned under the truck,” he said. “And when I saw the helmet and almost got sick thinking of what her head was going to look like.”

According to paramedics, the truck’s tire rolled right over her head. Wilmot is sure that this helmet saved her life.

Her injuries included: three to five cracked ribs, a small tear in her lungs, a fractured pelvis and a broken collarbone. She had three blood transfusions.

“I also had surgery and have a titanium plate in me now.”

She also had swollen and bruised head, shoulders and back and road rash on her hands and knees.

Having recently returned home, you’d never know she had a near-death experience. She still has bruising around her head and down her back but she is able to walk well and the swelling around her face has gone down.

She is grateful to the paramedics who saved her life — and to her friends who convinced her to buy a helmet.

“I never used to wear a helmet myself but if it had gone over my head without it, I don’t see how I would have lived,” she said. “It looks like it wouldn’t do much but it definitely did the job. Wearing a helmet saved my life.”

She hopes her story reaches young kids who are headed back to school in the upcoming weeks and urges them to remember to wear a helmet.

Related: OPINION: On helmets and helicopter parenting

Related: Vernon Ride Don’t Hide event raises $59,000

Related: Vernon BrainTrust barbecue buys helmets

To report a typo, email:
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com
.



Follow me on Twitter @BrieChar
Email me brieanna.charlebois@vernonmorningstar.com
Like us on

 

The tire reportedly rolled over her head. (Brieanna Charlebois/Morning Star)

Pictured: the bike that Wilmot was riding — it is no longer usable. (Brieanna Charlebois/Morning Star)

Eleanor Wilmot, 66, was biking when she was struck by a truck. (Brieanna Charlebois/Morning Star)

Just Posted

In Pictures: Expression Sessions hangs ten

Wave gods smile on the 10th edition of the Haida Gwaii surf festival

Haida Gwaii Sea Cadets set sail

Some young salts joined the Remembrance Day parade in Queen Charlotte last… Continue reading

Rough seas delay Prince Rupert/Haida Gwaii ferry

Northern Expedition is expected to leave Prince Rupert for Haida Gwaii at noon on Tuesday, Nov. 13

In Pictures: Remembrance Day in Queen Charlotte

Drums, bells and bagpipes sounded across Haida Gwaii this Remembrance Day, which… Continue reading

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Baloney Meter: Will tougher penalties for gang members make Canada safer?

Since 2013, gang-related homicides in Canada’s largest cities have almost doubled

Early data suggests no spike in pot-impaired driving after legalization: police

Some departments said it’s too early to provide data, others said initial numbers suggest stoned driving isn’t on the rise

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Most Read