From left: Cynthia Sonsalla is hoping to raise more than $3,200 for her friend, Fred Buott, after he was nearly hit by a truck while delivering bottles and cans on his tricycle to the Parksville recycling depot early this month (July). Buott’s tricycle was damaged, and Sonsalla hopes to raise enough money to buy him a new, electric-powered tricycle. — Adam Kveton Photo

Collision close call leaves Parksville pensioner looking for help

Friend hopes to raise enough money to replace, upgrade tricycle

Parksville resident Fred Buott knew he was in for a tough few months.

A pensioner who collects bottles and cans from his three-wheel bicycle to supplement his income, a looming hernia surgery at the end of July will have him resting up and unable to collect recyclables for several months.

But being run off the side of the road at the beginning of July only made things worse. Now, his tricycle, his only mode of transportation, is damaged and unsafe to ride.

However, Buott’s friend, Cynthia Sonsalla, is hoping to turn things around for him with a GoFundMe page.

She hopes to raise more than $3,200 so Buott can buy a new, electric-powered tricycle so he can keep collecting bottles, and have a little bit of extra cash to get by as he recovers from his surgery.

“I welcome the assistance because I’ve got to be off my feet for an extended period of time until the doctor says OK, I’m fit,” said Buott. “So I’ve got to have a bike that I can get around on, and this bottle-picking, that’s a big job, you know.”

Buott said he was riding his tricycle and pulling a trailer full of recyclables to the Parksville Bottle & Recycling Depot on the shoulder of the Alberni Highway on Thursday, July 5 when a black truck drove onto the shoulder to pass a white vehicle.

“I had no place to go, so what I did when I seen there was no place to go, I pulled over towards the grass area to make more room,” he said. But, knowing the trike would not make a tight enough turn, he leapt from the bike, falling into the ditch.

“I was in the ditch, the bicycle went in the ditch, the trailer went in the ditch, cans all over the place,” said Buott. “The truck didn’t stop, he went around the corner and up and gone in a hurry, and I didn’t get the licence number of the truck. All I know is it was a black truck, about a three-quarter ton pickup.”

The driver of the white car stopped to help Buott pick up his cans, and another driver pulled over to help him pull his bike and trailer from the ditch.

The accident left Buott’s bike damaged and unsafe to ride with the front forks bent, but his friend, Sonsalla, is hoping to raise enough money for a new ride for Buott: one that will allow to him continue to earn money with his bottle-collecting even after his surgery and as he gets older.

She began a GoFundMe page (www.gofundme.com/fred039s-bike-replacement) asking for $3,249: $2,249 for an electric tricycle that Buott could also pedal from Belize Bicycle, and the rest for shipping, assembly and a bit to help Buott during recovery.

“(The tricycle) is heavy duty for what he needs, because after his operation, he cannot ride properly for at least three months,” said Sonsalla.

“It’s an awful important thing for me, because right now I’m fighting a hernia,” said Buott of the fundraiser.

Buott said he’s been collecting bottles and cans since he retired from French Creek Seafood at the age of 65. He’s now 76 years old.

“I’m retired and I’ve got a small pension (but bottles really help) and it keeps me busy,” he said.

The GoFundMe page can be found at www.gofundme.com/fred039s-bike-replacement.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

ICET provides Qualicum Beach with $250K for East Village project

Town expects revitalization plan to attract more developments

COVID-19: Garage sales should follow mass gathering guidelines

City has received variety of queries on the issue

Parksville’s ‘Support Local’ parade celebrates businesses

Approximately 30 vehicles turn out for event

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach man stages concerts for charity out of his garage

Larry MacDougall says reception from neighbours has been heartening

COVID-19: Parksville bowling lanes open, but booking required

Owner implements safety measures to protect staff, bowlers

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Stepdad able to walk bride down the aisle days before he passes away

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

Most Read