WATCH: Police on Vancouver Island are urging caution, after three serious crashes just minutes apart that signal the start of the dangerous and often deadly summer driving season. Tess van Straaten reports.
An air ambulance rushed to the scene of a life-threatening crash on the Island Highway near Lantzville Sunday afternoon.
It was one of three serious crashes in just 90 minutes on Vancouver Island.
The worst crash was a deadly, head-on collision between a motorcyclist and a semi truck on Highway 4 near Hydro Hill on the road from Port Alberni to the Tofino/Ucluelet junction.
Sadly, the motorcyclist was killed.
Just before that crash, a driver in Nanaimo had to be extricated from his van after it flipped on its side, smashing into a light pole at the corner of Terminal Drive and Cypress Street.
“Summer time is a dangerous time on our roadway,” Acting Sgt. Jereme Leslie of Saanich Police says. “There are a number of deaths and significant injuries in British Columbia.”
As we head into one of the busiest — and deadliest — travel times of the year, police are urging caution.
On average in British Columbia, someone is killed by an impaired driver every three days in the summer months and every single day in July and August, six motorcyclists are injured in — some fatally.
Canada Day crash stats a huge concern for police
One of the most dangerous days is Canada Day.
According to ICBC, there are more than 600 crashes every July 1st in B.C., resulting in 164 injuries and three deaths in just a 24 hour period.
Ninety of those crashes — and 20 of those injuries — are on Vancouver Island.
“It’s very alarming,” Acting Sgt. Leslie says. “These numbers are very alarming to the police and it’s getting that message out there to make sure people are slowing down and aware of who’s around them on the roadway.”
Almost all the crashes are the result of bad driving and totally preventable.
“We see an increase of speed, drunk driving, dangerous driving such as distracted driving and high risk driving such as following too close,” Acting Sgt. Leslie says.
With more motorcycles, campers and trailers on the highway, police says everyone needs to use extra caution to reduce the carnage on our roads.