Police are looking for witnesses after an incident that left one man dead when a car slammed into a rock face at the north end of the Malahat Drive.
The man was the passenger in a northbound 2002 grey four-door Pontiac Grand Am that veered across the southbound lane, plowed into the wall, and rebounded back onto the highway at about 8 p.m. Saturday, not far from the Bamberton turn-off.
According to Mill Bay fire chief Ron Beck, the occupants had been removed from the vehicle by the time his team arrived on the scene.
The most seriously injured was rushed to Victoria General Hospital in critical condition and did not survive. The other two had relatively minor injuries and were taken to hospital for examination.
Sgt. Andre Dentoom of RCMP South Island Traffic Services said the deceased, a 46-year-old male from Esquimalt, was in the passenger seat. The driver is a 45-year-old Victoria man, while the backseat passenger was a 60-year-old woman from Victoria.
Dentoom said a criminal investigation is being jointly conducted by traffic services and the Shawnigan Lake detachment. The coroner’s office is also investigating the cause of death. Names of the occupants and other details are not being released at this time.
Beck said it was raining heavily at the time of the crash, which occurred on one of the few remaining undivided stretches of the highway, near the 17-kilometre marker of the Malahat Drive.
The incident closed that section of the Malahat for several hours as investigators conducted a detailed examination of the scene. Traffic was rerouted through Shawnigan Lake.
Investigators are asking anyone who may have witnessed this crash, or observed the driving pattern of the vehicle prior to the crash to contact the RCMP South Island Traffic Services at 250-416-0352.