WATCH: Five family members from Nanaimo survived after the truck they were in plunged off Highway 19 into Cowie Creek.
Crews were back at the scene Monday recovering the black F-150 pick up truck that went flying over a bridge abutment at Cowie Creek near Fanny Bay Sunday afternoon.
Five members of the same Nanaimo family had been in the truck and survived the horrific crash.
“Yeah when you look at the dynamics of this crash, the fact that everyone is still alive and made it to the hospital is almost a miracle,” said RCMP Corporal Jason Thompson.
The mid-afternoon crash resulted in a major emergency response from RCMP, BC Ambulance, two search and rescue agencies and the Deep Bay Volunteer Fire Department. Deep Bay is responsible for a long stretch of highway in the area and has seen serious crashes, but Sunday’s had all the indications of possibly having multiple fatalities.
“That’s correct yeah especially when there are kids involved,” said Deep Bay Fire Deputy Chief Ed Pater speaking about the seriousness of the crash. “I sent two firefighters down with tools and the victims were still in the vehicle, but we did not require any tools to get them out. But it was a scratch your head scene because I couldn’t believe they were all alive and talking so they were very fortunate.”
There was a 10-year-old, an 11-year-old, their parents and an uncle in the truck, a 2016 Ford F-150.
Police say the family was returning to Nanaimo from Mount Washington when the truck went off the highway to the left on a right-hand curve in the road. It continued down the grass median for 170 metres before hitting a concrete abutment between the north and southbound bridges, then launched into the creek bed below.
“It went approximately another 25 metres before it struck the ground and then it appears to have tumbled maybe end over end probably another 10 to 15 metres to where it stopped,” added Cpl. Thompson.
Police say the driver may have been momentarily blinded by the sun shining on the road.
One person was flown from the scene by air ambulance. The others were taken to hospital in Courtenay by ambulance.
They are all expected to recover and police say it appears they were all wearing seatbelts.