2 taken to hospital, 1 airlifted, after serious crash closes Nanaimo highway

2 taken to hospital, 1 airlifted, after serious crash closes Nanaimo highway
The crash occurred around 6:10 a.m. Wednesday.

Two people were taken to hospital, one of whom was in serious condition, following a serious crash that closed the Nanaimo Parkway in both directions early Wednesday morning.

The crash happened just after 6 a.m. in the northbound lanes of the highway, between Exit 16 and Fifth Street, but both directions of the roadway were closed as emergency crews responded.

“Sounded like bombs being dropped. So I ran right out of the house. I was probably the first person there. I called fire and ambulance,” said Nanaimo resident Stephen Eby, whose backyard is only metres from the crash scene.

Watch the report below:

Nanaimo RCMP Staff Sgt. Darwin Tetreault tells CHEK News that an SUV was heading south on the highway crossed into the northbound lanes via an emergency access lane in the concrete median, causing a “head-to-head” crash with a dump truck that was heading north.

Mounties say the driver of the dump truck tried to avoid the SUV, turning “left and right,” but still hit the vehicle before rolling over due to the quick turns.

The driver of the dump truck was then pinned and trapped inside their vehicle.

“The fact one walked away, especially the driver of the small vehicle walked away is nothing short of amazing and the other driver, he was pinned in there between the rock face and the cement and the truck. He’s lucky. He’s a lucky man,” said Tetrault.

According to Tetreault, it took two hours to remove the man from the dump truck using the Jaws of Life, and emergency crews also had to make sure that the vehicle didn’t roll onto first responders who were performing the rescue.

Story continues below

The crash scene is shown. (CHEK News)

An air ambulance arrived at the scene around 7 a.m. and landed on the highway. They transported the semi-truck driver, who was in critical condition, to hospital in Victoria , according to RCMP.

Meanwhile, the driver of the SUV suffered “minor injuries” and was taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital by a ground ambulance.

Mounties say the SUV driver has been arrested for dangerous driving. Police have ruled out speed as a factor in the crash but are looking into possible impairment.

BC Emergency Health Services says a full suite of paramedics attended to the crash, including “two ambulances with primary care paramedics, an ambulance with advanced care paramedics, a supervisor and an air ambulance with critical care paramedics.”

Major traffic delays

DriveBC and Nanaimo RCMP warned drivers of significant traffic delays due to the crash.

The southbound lanes of the highway reopened around 11:30 a.m., and the northbound lanes were closed until roughly 3:45 p.m.

Mounties say drivers should expect slow going through the city Wednesday.

“Side streets can’t handle the amount of traffic coming off the parkway so please add a significant amount of travel time if you have to travel through this area,” said Tetreault.

“With the amount of traffic in town this morning – your family expects you home, please drive safely,” he said.

With files from CHEK’s Skye Ryan

Adam ChanAdam Chan

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!