Police say two teens are lucky to be alive after the vehicle they were travelling in smashed into a rock wall north of Split Rock on the Malahat.
The crash occurred just after midnight on Monday.
In a statement issued this morning, RCMP say the red 2007 four-door Honda Civic had been reported stolen out of Victoria hours earlier.
“The car went past Split Rock northbound at what one witness described as a high rate of speed,” the statement reads. “The Civic continued on and crossed over the centre line and smashed into the rock wall in the southbound lane.”
Shawnigan Lake RCMP, the Malahat Volunteer Fire Department, B.C. Ambulance Service, and an RCMP traffic reconstructionist attended the scene, finding extensive damage and debris scattered across all lanes of traffic.
“Evidence at the scene suggests this vehicle was travelling at an excessively high rate of speed prior to the collision,” police say. “The highway was closed for approximately three hours while the investigation continued.”
In the meantime, the alternate south-Shawnigan route was utilized by motorists.
Police say the unlicensed 16-year-old male driver and a 17-year-old female passenger were taken to Victoria General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
While the investigation continues, police say they are already considering charges of theft over $5,000, plus four counts of breaching a court order for a previous vehicle theft charge against the male driver.
“Both of these youth are extremely fortunate to be essentially walking away from this crash,” Shawnigan Lake RCMP Sgt. Rob Webb said.
Police ask any witnesses who spotted the vehicle travelling on the Malahat late Sunday or early Monday morning to contact the south-end RCMP detachment at 250-743-5514.