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Drone strikes Coquitlam councillor in the forehead, triggers concussion

Coquitlam Coun. Teri Towner says people need to be careful when using flyable devices after she was struck while riding her bike
Coquitlam Coun. Teri Towner says she was riding her bike when "out of nowhere" she was struck in the head by a drone. Doctors say she has a concussion and whiplash.

A Coquitlam city councillor is suffering from a concussion and whiplash after getting hit in the head with a drone while riding her bike last week.

Coun. Teri Towner said she was cycling through the schoolyard at Mundy elementary when the remote controlled gadget “came out of nowhere” and struck her forehead between her helmet and her sunglasses.

“It stunned me but I kept going,” she said. “If I was a half second faster or slower, the whole thing wouldn’t have happened.”

Initially, Towner did not realize how badly she was hurt and carried on with her ride. But by the time she arrived at her destination, she said she was starting to feel the symptoms. 

She went to the hospital the next day, where she was told she had a concussion. She returned to the ER a week later, still feeling unwell, and was told she also had whiplash. 

“I’m still not better,” she said Friday. “It has gotten worse… It was more of a significant blow the head than I thought.”

For the time being, doctors have told Towner not to look at screens — something that is required of a city councillor in the time of COVID-19, when most meetings are held online. She is also prohibited from exercising until the symptoms pass.

Towner has put up posters in the area around the school in the hopes the man who was flying the drone will come forward. 

“It’s not like a rear-ender, where you get out and exchange insurance papers,” she said, adding: “I would like this person to step forward, but I haven’t heard anything.”

She is warning residents that use flyable technology to be careful of others and make sure the area is clear when using their devices.

“Keep being active, but those of you operating flyable technology, please do so responsibly,” she said.