The two occupants of the vehicle involved in an early Sunday morning crash in an area a short drive from Highway 1 are lucky to be alive, according to Malahat Fire Department Chief Rob Patterson.
Patterson said a green Chevy pickup truck "left the road with a high rate of speed … It came to rest about 100 feet from where it hit the bank." He estimated that the truck was airborne for up to 60 feet, passing over shrubs and other vegetation before finally coming to a stop. He was unsure whether the vehicle had rolled or if it just appeared to.
"I'm amazed there wasn't more injuries." Patterson noted the occupants – a man and a woman – were "very, very lucky." Neither, he said, was wearing a seat belt and both were tossed around, but remained in the vehicle.
They were transported to hospital with substantial, but non-life threatening injuries and Patterson noted the man suffered a head injury. A crash of this nature, where passengers are not restrained, usually results in a fatalities, he said.
While unable to comment on whether alcohol was a factor in the crash, the chief said no opened alcohol was found in the vehicle, other than what was damaged in the crash.
The incident occurred near the Goldstream Heights Drive and Finlayson View Place intersection, a paved stretch of roadway accessible off south Shawnigan Lake Road.
Fire crews were called to the scene at roughly 1 a.m. and remained until roughly 5:30 a.m. "There was a serious fire concern," Patterson said. The vehicle was leaking gas and other fluids and crews remained to conduct fire suppression until the truck could be safely removed.
West Shore RCMP would not provide any details on the incident as B.C.'s Independent Investigation Office (IIO) has asserted jurisdiction at this time.
The IIO released a statement Monday saying West Shore RCMP had responded to a request for assistance from B.C. Emergency Health Services. It stated that upon arriving at the scene, police reported that a vehicle left the area. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle to check on the occupants but, the vehicle failed to stop. It was subsequently found crashed with its two occupants injured.
"The initial focus of the IIO investigation will be to determine if there is a connection between the injuries of the affected persons and actions or inactions of police," the statement read.
No further information was released after a follow-up request. See the original story here.