Victoria’s Ian David Slaco, 44, has been identified as the man killed early Saturday on the Malahat highway, the B.C. Coroners Service confirmed Tuesday.
“Mr. Slaco was driving north on Highway 1 over the Malahat in the early morning hours of March 16 when his car went out of control and over an embankment,” island’s regional coroner Matt Brown’s email states.
Slaco was found deceased at the scene, Brown notes of the Malahat’s first victim of 2013.
Slaco was ejected from a Volvo car along a divided stretch of highway, Malahat Volunteer Fire Hall’s chief, Rob Patterson, said.
He believed the crash happened some three hours before it was discovered by a highways worker.
“It involved a green, Volvo SX-70, fairly new,” he told the Leader. “It was northbound and went off near 3932 Trans-Canada Highway.
“There was a brief bit of skid mark on the highway. He connected with the concrete no post on the side of the road, then travelled about 150 feet, impacted with a rock, and went into the trees.
“During those micro-seconds the driver was ejected. We’re unsure if passengers were involved,” Patterson said.
A police dog squad was called to search for other passengers, while firefighters used heat-seeking gear to also help locate other patients.
“We just closed the slow lane and kept traffic flowing the whole time,” Patterson said.
A B.C. coroner, and an RCMP traffic analyst also arrived to respectively tend to the body, and decipher the crash’s cause.
“The vehicle and patient had been lying there for about three hours, in a fairly dark stretch,” the veteran fire chief said.
“A (Mainroad contracting) guy saw some reflective markers smashed off the end of a median, and he discovered the scene.”
That’s also when Mounties were dealing with a drunk driver around Goldstream “so they were on scene by the time we get there.”
“We helped prep the car for removal, and removed body to the highway where it was put into the coroner’s vehicle,” said Patterson, noting none of his crew needed trauma counselling after attending the fatality.
Patterson has been outspoken for years about the need for completing concrete medians to prevent Malahat cross-over crashes, but “nothing could have altered this accident.”
“It’s was in a divided stretch of highway — there was no fault on the highway in this at all; not this time.”