WATCH: A young mother was killed in a crash near Gold River and two men were hurt in a spectacular crash in Union Bay. Both accidents took place on the first day of the May long weekend. Dean Stoltz reports.
RCMP say a young mother may have fallen asleep at the wheel before her car went off Highway 28 and crashed 22 kilometres east of Gold River early Saturday morning.
Her young child was also in the car when it crashed.
"The young child in the car thank goodness only suffered minor injuries but it was very disturbing and very upsetting for everyone on the scene there," said RCMP Constable Dave Dormuth of North Island Traffic Services.
In another crash south of Courtenay two men were hurt when a car heading southbound on Highway 19A at 2:20 a.m. crashed into a bridge abutment in Union Bay.
"It hit the cement barrier prior to the bridge causing it to go airborne and land sideways on the bridge." said Dormuth.
The car ended up wedged on its side between the railings of the pedestrian walkway on the bridge, that spans over Hart Creek.
A group of people camping right beside the creek heard the crash, ran to the scene and found one man they believed to be the driver ejected from the car lying on the road — while the injured passenger was crawling from the wreckage.
"They heard the crash and attended the scene immediately and started to give first aid coverage and treatment to the driver and passenger which is probably very beneficial to the driver's life at this point," added Dormuth.
The driver was flown to Victoria General Hospital where he remains in serious but stable condition while the passenger was taken to hospital in Courtenay with minor injures and later released.
The passenger was wearing a seat belt but police are unsure if the driver was.
Investigators say speed and alcohol are being considered as possible factors in the Union Bay crash
Police say the May long weekend has become notable for numerous fatal crashes on B.C. roads.
"I would say 99 per cent of them are probably preventable," said Dormuth. "We do always find there is a lot of alcohol consumption on the May long weekend, especially with the good weather and we just ask that drivers use common sense."