Road paving crew member killed in late-night crash on Nanaimo highway

Road paving crew member killed in late-night crash on Nanaimo highway
Skye Ryan/CHEK News
A construction sign is seen at the site of a deadly crash involving a flagger and a member of a road paving crew.

Police say that alcohol and speed are likely factors in a crash that killed a member of a road paving crew and shut down the Trans-Canada Highway in Nanaimo overnight Friday.

Mounties were called to a report of a collision between a vehicle and two workers near Kipp Road and the highway.

Police said the crew members were paving southbound lanes of the highway at 12:40 a.m. when a female driver collided with them.

The two victims, a flagger and paving crew member, were being treated by paramedics, but the crew member died at the scene, police said. The flagger was transported to hospital with serious injuries.

“It was heartbreaking. It was,” said Heidi Bent, a co-worker of the injured flagger at JSK Traffic Control Services.

“It’s hard. We’re all friends, we all know each other and when I heard it was her this morning I wondered if she was okay,” said co-worker and fellow flagger at JSK Traffic Control Services Colin Angus.

The driver of the white hatchback car involved was detained by police for investigaiton.

“While the investigation is only in the preliminary stages and evidence continues to be gathered, alcohol and speed are believed to be contributing factors,” Nanaimo RCMP said in a statement.

Hub City Paving confirmed one of its workers was killed while working at a paving project along Highway 1.

“We are saddened to confirm a fatal accident involving a third party motorist and a crew of our employees at a road construction project on Highway 1 in Nanaimo, BC, on September 23, 2021.,” the company said in a statement.

“We are in shock and are extremely concerned about the impact on the affected worker’s family and friends, and have provided access to our employee and family assistance program to access support and counseling.”

The company said it was working with regulatory authorities who are carrying out an investigation into what happened and that it had no further comment.

The highway was shut down both ways with traffic rerouted to alternate routes. The stretch of the TCH was reopened at 7 a.m.

The BC Coroner’s service is also investigating the death.

Police are asking anyone who witnessed the incident or may have dashcam footage are asked to contact Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 and quote file number 2021-35952.


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