WHITEFISH FALLS – Whitefish Falls was the scene of two serious accidents in two days, one of which ended in a fatality.
On Saturday, June 29, at approximately 2:52 pm, officers from the Manitoulin detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a report of a single dirt bike collision near Fox Lake Road, located approximately five kilometres from Whitefish Falls.
Sources say the rider had been driving the rail bed, which is frequented by all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes, that leads from Espanola to Whitefish Falls. (The old CPR right of way is closed from Whitefish Falls to Little Current.)
The driver of the dirt bike, a 21-year-old male from southern Ontario was pronounced dead at the scene. The OPP Technical Collision Investigation (TCI) team is continuing its investigation.
The previous day, Friday, June 29, traffic was backed up for several hours as police and emergency crews tended to a car accident at Highway 6 on Whitefish Falls, near Gravelle Road.
According to eyewitnesses, at approximately 6:36 pm, a motorcyclist collided with an oncoming car. Police reported at the time that the driver of the motorcycle was in serious condition. He was taken from the scene by land ambulance and later airlifted to Health Sciences North from the Espanola Regional Hospital. The driver of the car sustained minor injuries in the accident.
Drivers in the lineup told The Expositor they felt helpless as they watched the motorcyclist’s friends (he was part of a group of motorcyclists travelling together) stand on the side of the road, distraught at what they had just witnessed.
On Monday, OPP told The Expositor that the motorcyclist, a 61-year-old male from London, remained in hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Charges in the accident are pending.
Police remind drivers that with an increase in summer traffic, motorists should slow down and take their time.
“Let’s make this a safe and happy summer,” says OPP Constable Marie Ford.