A Burns Lake teenager broke his collarbone after wiping out on a pothole at the local skate park near Radley Beach.
Dylan Reimer, 17, was thrown from his skateboard on Aug. 8 during one of his almost-daily rides at the park.
“I was going down a part of the ramp with a big blue and white graffiti word that says ‘Gadrex’, but everyone calls it ‘cataracts,’” he explained to Lakes District News.
“On the left side, two feet off of the corner there is a pothole. Everyone avoids it. I got up some speed and hit the pothole. I flew off the board and went towards the little pyramid ramp, to the right side of the ramp. I bashed my face on the concrete and broke my collarbone. It was stupidity on my part for not wearing a helmet,” he said.
After going to the hospital he went to the Village of Burns Lake office to tell the staff what happened.
“They told me ‘it’s a skatepark. You should expect it,’ but there’s a whole department in this town to take care of that skatepark. They said they would start leaving brooms there so people can sweep away the little rocks [on the course].”
Lianne Olson, President of the Burns Lake Rotary Club said she had no information about maintenance of the skatepark.
Reimer estimates that since he moved to Burns Lake three years ago, the hole on the ‘Gadrex’ ramp has expanded from about the size of a toonie to around six inches in diameter. Other holes and rough patches had widened as well.
“It’s been getting worse this summer. There’s more mountain bikes and scooters at the skate park. People keep going over them and they keep chipping.”
A staff member from the village phoned Reimer on Aug. 12 to tell him the hole had been fixed, but he said it actually hadn’t been.
“Apparently they just fixed a little hole beside a grounding post and filled it with plaster of paris. They didn’t fix the actual big pothole.”
As of Aug. 13, the hole on the ‘Gadrex’ ramp remained open, along with several other gouges in the park’s concrete, but they had been filled in by Aug. 15.
“Village crews went out on Wednesday and fixed them,” said Val Anderson, Deputy Corporate Officer with the village.
Since Reimer can’t properly move his arm, he’s taking a break from his job at Kal Tire but he looks forward to returning to the skatepark after his collarbone heals in four to six weeks.
“I ordered more protection gear just in case. I got a beanie with a helmet and shoulder pads and knee pads,” he said.
Community members in conjunction with the Burns Lake Rotary Club built the skatepark over 20 years years ago and the Village of Burns Lake took over management of the park once it was completed.