An SUV went off the highway Tuesday afternoon near Little Qualicum River Bridge and rolled numerous times before landing on its roof. Kendall Hanson has more.
One man was cut out of SUV after it went flying off an inland highway on Tuesday and rolled before it landed on its roof.
The Qualicum Beach Fire Chief says the SUV hit a barricade, not far from the Little Qualicum River Bridge, before going airborne.
“It actually launched him right over and I think his first impact was 30 or 40 feet down the embankment before he started rolling,” Fire Chief Darryl Kohse said. “He came to a rest about 200 feet down the hill.”
“He came to a rest about 200 feet down the hill.”
Shortly after 12:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, firefighters said. man was driving southbound on the highway where the speed limit is 120 kilometres an hour. Another motorist saw the SUV go over the edge who called 911.
“My understanding was he was trying to stop short of the bridge and misjudged it,” Kohse said. “[He] pulled over to the side and launched it off the side of the bridge.”
The driver was heading to Victoria.
Firefighters responded quickly, as they happened to be having a luncheon at the fire hall. B.C. Ambulance took him to Qualicum Beach airport where they then airlifted him to hospital.
According to Kohse, the man’s decision to wear his seatbelt likely saved his life.
“Very lucky, very fortunate to be in the condition that he is,” Kohse said.
“When you come to an accident like this you fear the worst. When I got to the driver’s door he was actually coherent, and alert and awake and talking.”
But he still suffered back shoulder and possible internal injuries. The GMC Yukon he was driving was severely damaged.
First responders say considering the crash, the Qualicum Bay man is fortunate to be alive.