Bikers find missing man ‘barely hanging on’

Paul Kerr, missing since Sunday, found by mountain bikers near St. Mary's Lake road.

Paul Kerr

Paul Kerr

Paul Kerr has been located and taken to hospital after mountain bikers discovered him pinned beneath his motorcycle near St. Mary’s Lake on Tuesday evening.

Kerr, who had been missing since Sunday, was taken to East Kootenay Regional Hospital, but his current condition is unknown, however, one of the mountain bikers who found him says he’s lucky to be alive.

Warren Boychuk, a native of Sherwood Park, was biking in the area with some friends when they found him just off the St. Mary’s Lake Road, roughly five kilometres outside Kimberley.

“He was barely hanging on,” Boychuk said. “He had all the signs that he was a goner. There was flies everywhere, the smell wasn’t too hot and his eyes were kind of bugged out and he was foaming at the mouth.”

The group split up as one member went to the St. Mary’s Lake Resort to call for help while Boychuk and others stayed to lift the 2009 BMW motorcycle off him and wait for emergency services.

“When he heard the sirens, he kind of got excited and was flinching around and stuff and I just told him to relax and that everything was going to be okay,” Boychuk said.

Kerr had been missing since Sunday after failing to report in from a planned trip across the Gray Creek Pass with his motorbike.

Police conducted patrols and inquires during the night without success and contacted Search and Rescue who initiated a search early Monday morning.

Teams from Cranbrook, Kimberley, Sparwood, Fernie, Creston and Invermere, along with a helicopter and fixed wing aircraft, had been searching the area for two days.

“The search teams did an amazing job with some long hours; their dedication to helping others in distress is to be commended,” said Cpl. Chris Newel, with Kimberley RCMP. “They are all volunteers who give up their free time to assist. We are truly grateful for the effort over the past few days.”

According to an RCMP update, it looked like Kerr and the motorcycle left the road after a series of curves.

Boychuk agreed.

“I think he just kind of flew right into the bushes and then he tumbled a couple times and then the bike went right on top of him. It was a pretty rough fall,” he said.

Boychuk and his friends were cutting through an area near the St. Mary’s Lake Road in order to get to Highway 95A and said it was sheer luck that they found Kerr.

“It’s crazy how close he was to the highway and that no one ever found him,” Boychuck said. “And it took us to just take one—it was totally meant to be—to go down this area. There was no trail there at all, we were just thinking to cut through this area and there he was.”

Even more serendipitous is that Boychuk and his friends weren’t even aware of the missing person’s report on Kerr.