Emergency services in Vanderhoof responded to over seven collisions and ‘countless’ minor ones on Highway 16 on Monday, March 30.
Majority of the collisions were caused by motorists driving too fast for the road conditions, said Vanderhoof Detachment Commander Sgt. Rodney Guthrie in a April 1 statement to the Omineca Express.
Numerous vehicle occupants were transported to the hospital, he said, adding, a majority of them were treated and released.
“We were very lucky that none of these collisions resulted in a fatality,” Guthrie stated.
The first accident of the day on Monday was at approximately 11:15 am, where Vanderhoof emergency services responded to a multi-vehicle collision on Highway 16 near Sunny Slope Road.
This collision involved two semi trucks and two passenger vehicles, which resulted in the Highway being completely blocked.
There were minor injuries from this collision, Guthrie said.
Thirty-minutes after this incident, emergency services in the district responded to a second, single vehicle collision on Tapping Road. A passenger car had gone over an embankment.
“This was believed to be a vehicle that chose to detour around the original collision scene on their own accord. One of the occupants sustained serious, non-life threatening injuries and was taken to the hospital via ambulance,” Guthrie said in the statement.
As the day went on, the detachment commander said that emergency services responded to at least seven other major collisions, and ‘countless’ minor ones from Sunny Slope Road to East Bay Road, resulting in Highway 16 being either closed completely, or open to alternating traffic until 8:45 p.m.
“Some motorists even crashed after failing to respond to deliberate attempts by emergency crews to get them to slow down,” the detachment commander said.
“The Vanderhoof RCMP wish to remind drivers of the dangers of driving with poor roads conditions and plead with them to drive safely. If you absolutely must travel when the weather is poor, adjust your speed to suit the road conditions and drive at a speed that allows you to stop inside the distance that you can see,” read the statement from police.
Another reminder is that the posted speed limit is the maximum speed based on ‘ideal road conditions’.
“Motorists can still be charged with speeding for driving under the posted speed limit when the road conditions are poor. This is the offence of driving too fast for road conditions,” as per the statement.
The investigations into the incidents on Monday are continuing, and various charges have been and will be laid, Guthrie said.
As a result of such high collisions, major response was provided by Vanderhoof area emergency services including BC Ambulance, Vanderhoof Fire, Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement, BC Conservation Officer Service, YRB Vanderhoof, Vanderhoof RCMP, St John’s Hospital where many of the injured were taken, as well as Speedway Towing and Ron’s Towing from Prince George.