A car teeters on the edge of a barrier during Wednesday's crash on the Malahat.

Malahat crash claims 76-year-old man

A Port Alberni man is dead, and two women are in Victoria hospital, after Wednesday night's head-on collision on he Malahat

A Port Alberni man is dead, and two women are in Victoria hospital, after Wednesday night’s head-on collision along an unguarded stretch of Malahat Drive, police say.

Malahat fire chief Rob Patterson — whose crew was helped by Mill Bay’s members — said the soggy commuter turnpike near Split Rock was closed and rerouted for about five hours by the 5 p.m. wreck that left a car teetering on a concrete barrier bordering a dark cliff.

The tragedy’s cause could have been a medical condition, police say.

“One vehicle was northbound, and one vehicle was southbound — someone crossed the line,” Patterson said, calling for barriers to prevent more crashes on the ‘Hat.

Wednesday’s wreck saw a southbound Toyota Sienna van cross the centre line, swiping a northbound Dodge Caravan, cops said.

The Sienna then hit, head-on, a northbound Honda Accord driven by a 58-year-old Crofton female.

She was pinned in the car left perched near the cliff.

The Sienna’s 76-year-old male was  extricated by firefighters, but he died in hospital. His injured wife was expected to be released from hospital Thursday, RCMP said.

Shawnigan Lake RCMP Sgt. Rob Webb said the Crofton woman suffered multiple fractures and is in serious but stable condition.

Patterson said she sustained severe leg injuries inside her demolished Honda. She’d likely be dead if fire crews hadn’t balanced the sedan to keep it from plunging 100 metres while gingerly freeing what the veteran chief called the “non-responsive” woman.

“It was too close. It’s a steep, 50-degree slope with rocks and trees,” he said. “It would not have been pretty.”

It took firefighters wielding the Jaws of Life an hour or more to extricate her by “nibbling away” at parts of the Accord.

The now-deceased male driver of the nearby Sienna suffered what Patterson described as “serious” lower-extremity injuries.

“He was our number-one priority,” he said of the Alberni senior.

His wife was dazed but “talkative” at the scene, said Patterson.

Meanwhile, scores of north- and south-bound vehicles braved narrow, winding South Shawnigan Road around the stretch of highway blacktop blocked by fire crews.

The deadly incident left Patterson demanding completed Malahat centre medians.

“It just irks me,” he said, shaking his head at rock-snagging wire being hung along the ‘Hat’s sheer walls.

“Fifteen years here, and I’ve never had a rock land on a car, but we’ve done hundreds of vehicle extrications.” Crash witnesses are asked to call Shawnigan Lake RCMP at 250-743-5514.

Just Posted

Test reveals fentanyl creep into Sooke heroin supply

The fentanyl made up 20 per cent of the sample

Holiday Country Grocer campaign returns to make children’s dreams come true

Proceeds from campaign go towards Help Fill A Dream foundation

West Shore RCMP arrest woman, seize drugs, cash and replica firearms in Langford

Bike unit seizes 178 grams of methamphetamine and about 48 grams of mixed opioids

Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition and Bike to Work Society merge

The new organization plans a full roll out in spring 2020

Canadian men will play Olympic basketball qualifying tournament in Victoria

The six teams in Victoria will be divided into two groups of three with each playing all the other teams in its own group

VIDEO: Disney Plus adds disclaimer about racist stereotypes

Disney’s disclaimer is a good way to begin discussion about the larger issue of racism

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Sooke hosts forum to get input from people with disabilities

The province has multiple avenues for input

CN Rail confirms job cuts as weakening economy cuts into freight volumes

Railroad also said it was affected by a slowdown in the B.C.’s forestry sector

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Sooke nativity display back for second year

More than 400 versions of the nativity are at heart of show

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 12

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

New case of vaping-related illness in Quebec brings national total to 8

Quebec health minister considering tightening the rules around vaping products

Most Read