Submitted by Sgt. G.D. Simpson
On July 22, at 9:37 a.m., the Clearwater RCMP received a report from the BC Ambulance Service of a single-vehicle collision located in the 9900 block of Highway 24, two kilometres west of McDonald summit. The vehicle had gone off the highway, down a steep embankment and was on fire with people trapped inside.
Consts. Klassen and Hall, as well as Sgt. Simpson attended to the scene.
The vehicle involved was a yellow Chevrolet pick-up driven by a 53-year-old Williams Lake man who suffered minor injuries. He was transported by ambulance to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. The only passenger was a 55-year-old Williams Lake female who was complaining of injuries to her ribs and knees. She was air lifted to hospital in Kamloops.
The driver said he was traveling westbound at about 80 kolimetres per hour and missed the corner, going off the road left and down the bank, about 50 feet. The vehicle rolled multiple times snapping off eight inch trees and moving boulders about four feet in diameter.
The vehicle was totaled, with it’s tires snapped off, windows smashed out and extensive damage to the body, though there was no intrusion into the cab. Both airbags were deployed.
The driver said they were both wearing seat belts. He added he has trouble sleeping and was tired. He provided a sample of his breath and blew a zero on the alcohol sensing device. A witness traveling behind said the driver was not speeding and simply failed to negotiate the right hand corner and went straight off the highway.
A local towing company attend to recover the totaled vehicle. A violation ticket for fail to keep right was completed and mailed to Williams Lake RCMP to be served upon the driver.
At 1:29 a.m., Clearwater RCMP received a call to assist BC Ambulance Service with a single-vehicle rollover collision that had occurred in Vavenby.
BC Ambulance Service advised the driver, a 51-year-old Avola man, was probably no longer alive. The cab of the truck had been crushed and the lone occupant had no pulse.
Const. Meyer and Const. Van Woudenberg attended and located the vehicle, a grey Chevrolet Silverado, flipped over on the side of the highway. BC Ambulance Service was already on scene and pronounced the driver and registered owner deceased. The driver is believed to have fallen asleep behind the wheel.
A traffic analyst was consulted and not attending. Fire attended and removed the driver’s door with the Jaws of Life prior to the coroner attending. A highway maintenance contractor advised and closed one lane of traffic. The coroner attended with the body removal team. The body was removed from the vehicle and a wallet found confirming the deceased was the registered owner.
A local tow company attended, recovered the vehicle and towed it to their yard. Tracks from the truck prior to the accident scene show the truck veered into the ditch over 200 metres before. An investigation indicates that speed and alcohol are contributing factors to this tragic incident.
Sgt. G.D. Simpson is the detachment commander at the Clearwater RCMP Detachment.
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