Ken Kyle, a popular rider with the Port Alberni Toy Run, is in hospital with serious injuries after he was hit by a car in Nanoose Bay last month.
Kyle was returning to Port Alberni from Cowichan the Monday following Toy Run after dropping a friend off at her home. He was travelling northbound in Nanoose Bay after 7 p.m. when the drive belt broke on his Harley Davidson Road King, according to his friend, Lance Glover.
“He said he was in the left lane, the belt broke, he signalled, made his way to the right side of the highway and called someone for help.
“He was sitting there waiting for his buddy to show up with a trailer,” Glover said.
The details of what happened next are a bit fuzzy for Kyle. “He said two cars got into an accident and one swerved off and hit him.
“He was pulled over somewhere safely enough…made a phone call and was waiting on the side of the road for a while before the accident even happened,” Glover said.
Kyle sustained a shattered pelvis, broken femur, internal injuries and two cracked vertebrae in his neck. He was sent to Vancouver General Hospital, and remains in hospital with his pelvis and femur put back together with metal pieces.
“He was still wearing his helmet [when he was hit], which is the only reason he’s alive. He had 13 hours of surgery to put him back together again.”
Kyle is facing a long recovery—his doctors have told him he “will be lucky to walk by Christmas,” Glover said. “He’s going to have a pretty hard time getting by, day by day.”
Kyle has a landscaping business and does building and parking lot maintenance at the 10th Avenue Plaza as well as other businesses in Port Alberni. He won’t be working for months. Glover has set up a crowdsourcing site and hopes to raise $ 15,000 to help Kyle once he returns home.
“A lot of his friends were asking how they could help or where they could donate money. They’re from all over,” Glover said. “That’s why I did the gofundme, because there’s a lot of people who want to help him out. He’s always that kind of guy that helps others out; he’s the guy that will come over with a truck and give you a hand.”
Kyle wasn’t available for an interview with the AV News, but “he wants to let people know he’s OK,” Glover said.
“He’s still kept his personality, that’s for sure. He’s going to have quite a long recovery.”
Glover’s crowdsourcing page for Kyle can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/supporting-local-rider-and-friend.
“He’s lucky to be alive,” said Kyle’s friend Vincent Gladstone. Kyle and Gladstone were part of a small group of motorcycle enthusiasts who travelled to the famed bikers’ gathering in Sturgis, South Dakota in 2013, and they have participated together in the Port Alberni Toy Run over the years.
“We’ve all been to Vancouver to visit him and I text with him daily,” Gladstone said. “It will be a long road to recovery but he’s tough and will rise above.”