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Highway accidents keep RCMP busy

Accidents and slides kept the RCMP busy last week, with several highway closures between West Vancouver and Pemberton.


In the most serious incident a mother and daughter were killed on Saturday night when their car drifted sideways into the oncoming lane and they were struck by another vehicle. Two other children, the woman’s niece and nephew, were in the accident. The niece was taken to Vancouver Children’s Hospital with head trauma, while the nephew was treated at the scene and released.

The passengers in the Pathfinder that struck the victim’s Infinity were shaken up, but not injured.

Another serious incident occurred on Highway 99, just south of Pemberton’s One Mile Lake when two vehicles were involved in a head-on collision at approximately 5:35 p.m. on Tuesday.

One driver was ejected from his vehicle and then pinned under it. The Pemberton Fire Rescue Team and EHS attendants extricated the male, who was sent to Lions Gate Hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

The accident is still under investigation but alcohol and drugs are not considered to be a factor.

Another vehicle was damaged on the stretch of highway between Whistler and Pemberton after a rock slide near the Wedgemount area on Dec. 10 at approximately 11:30 p.m. The driver received minor injuries.

Heavy rains are being blamed for the incident, which closed the highway for several hours as workers cleared the rubble.

A Department of Highways geo technician flew to the scene the following morning to assess the situation before reopening the highway.

The rains also caused another slide on Saturday morning that blocked an exit ramp off the Trans-Canada Highway in West Vancouver.

The RCMP was also busy with a highway accident that likely occurred in 2003. It appears that the floods of Oct. 18 2003 claimed a fifth victim when the Rutherford Creek bridge washed out. Previously it was thought that four people died in two vehicles that went into the swollen creek.

An Isuzu Trooper was discovered by an excavator in Rutherford Creek Monday, downstream of the area where the highway washed out. The police are treating it as a criminal investigation. The B.C. Coroner’s office is examining the victim’s DNA.

Sentencing delayed for Pemberton man

The sentencing of a Pemberton man has been delayed to March 15 after the Crown counsel ran out of time presenting evidence on Monday afternoon.

Mark Sullivan has pleaded guilty to two counts of Dangerous Driving Causing Bodily Harm. Another charge of driving under the influence was stayed by the Crown.

On July 3, Sullivan was driving south from Pemberton to Whistler at an estimated 160 kilometres per hour and was over the double yellow centre line when he swerved back into the right lane to avoid an oncoming police car. He then struck another vehicle from behind, ramming it through the barrier on the side of the highway.

One passenger in the vehicle that was struck, who was untying his shoes at the time of the crash, was ejected from the vehicle as it flipped down the embankment, coming to rest in a boulder field more than 100 feet off the road. Both passengers received a variety of cuts and bruises, as well as other non life-threatening injuries.

The maximum penalty is 10 years in jail, although maximum penalties are rarely assessed.

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