WATCH: Police now say that a serious crash that caused hours of traffic chaos on Sooke Road Friday happened after a driver suffered a suspected medical issue. Dramatic surveillance video shows the moments leading up to the crash that sent three drivers to hospital. It’s an incident that is sparking calls for an alternate route into the growing community. Luisa Alvarez reports.
On Friday, traffic was at a standstill on Sooke Road after two car accidents involving three vehicles shut down the road just before 1 p.m.
“Its still under investigation but one of the vehicles that was in the second crash might have been the initial cause to the first one,” said Sooke Assistant Fire Chief Matt Barney.
Police believe a medical emergency may have caused a chain reaction.
Surveillance footage shows part of what happened, capturing one vehicle veering off the road straight into a hydro pole, knocking it down.
Then further down the road in front of the Stickleback West Coast Eatery, two vehicles flipped into the ditch.
It took about five hours before opening a single lane but the highway wasn’t completely reopened until 10:30 pm that night.
While there are ways to get around Sooke Road in other areas, there was no way around where the collision occurred.
And just like the Malahat, all it takes is one crash and thousands of people aren’t getting home.
It’s an issue Incumbent Mayor Maja Tait knows will be fresh in the minds of voters going to the polls next month.
“The status quo is not acceptable and it’s important that we work with the province and find solutions and if we aren’t presented with one, we need to come up with something and provide that,” said Tait.
Also in the mayoral race is Mick Rhodes who agrees something must be done. Since it’s always been a key election issue, he’s done his homework and thinks an alternate route already in place may be the answer.
“It’s a logging road that skirts around the 17 Mile House. I don’t know the condition of the road but I think it’s worth looking into,” said Rhodes.
Rhodes also said part of his platform is looking into installing pull out lanes for cars to make it safer.