Victim remains in hospital

The victim of a hit-and-run south of Penticton last week remains in hospital on a long road to recovery.

Jesse Birkedal, 26, was cycling on Eastside Road along Skaha Lake at about 10 p.m. June 5 when he was struck by a car and left at the side of the road.

Emergency crews found him with seven fractures, including two in his hips, three broken vertebrae, and broken ankle and hand.

“He’s still pretty banged up and pretty depressed,” said Birkedal’s brother Dayne Heimbecker-cooley.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help Birkedal get through the next several weeks, as Heimbecker-cooley believes it will be months before his brother can return to work.

“They think he’s going to be there for awhile,” he said, adding Birkedal doesn’t remember anything from the hit-and-run up until Tuesday.

Donations will also help secure a wheelchair-friendly apartment, as it is expected he will be confined to a wheelchair for some time while his back heals. 

Birkedal had recently been in the news for earning a handshake from Penticton judge Gregory Koturbash in open court after sharing his story of recovery from addiction.

Police meanwhile continue to search for the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run.

Police say the suspect vehicle is believed to be a Pontiac Vibe, or other Pontiac brand of vehicle, with a small honeycomb-style grill.

Anyone that comes across a damaged similar vehicle is asked to contact the RCMP.

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