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Long weekend busy for emergency crews


The carefree days of summer came to an early end for many on the Labour Day long weekend, as the traffic accidents and other incidents kept RCMP and emergency crews busy.

On Aug. 29, the Squamish RCMP responded to a motorcycle accident just half a kilometre south of Furry Creek on Highway 99. A 37-year-old Surrey resident went off the road when he lost control of his motorcycle while travelling northbound. He suffered non life-threatening injuries and was transported to Squamish General Hospital.

Police responded to a single vehicle accident 2 km south of Britannia Beach at 9:06 a.m. on Sept. 2. A 1986 Chevy pickup was travelling southbound when the driver lost control, crossed into the oncoming lane and crashed into the guard rail on the opposite side. The Squamish driver was charged under the Motor Vehicle Act for Failing to Keep Right.

Also on Sept. 2, the RCMP responded to a two-vehicle accident 2 km north of Lions Bay. A 1998 Jeep Cherokee pulling a travel trailer was struck head on by a 1992 Ford Aerostar van that was travelling north. The van is believed to have swerved into the oncoming lane when the accident took place. All of the occupants were taken to Lions Gate Hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

That same afternoon, the Squamish RCMP attended another two-vehicle accident between Mamquam Road and Garibaldi Way in Squamish. A 1983 Chevy hatchback stuck a Toyota Forerunner that was stopped in the southbound lane at approximately 1:45 p.m. The driver of the hatchback was issued a 24 hour suspension for alcohol and a violation ticket for following too close.

The Squamish Search and Rescue team got some work as well when a group of 11 hikers called to say that a friend was injured on the trail to Lake Lovely Water when he fell more than 30 feet in steep terrain and injured his face and head. Three others that were with the party of 15 stayed with the injured male until help arrived.

The group of 11 was helped across the Squamish River by a Search and Rescue boat, and one person with minor injuries in the group was treated at Squamish General Hospital.

It was not discovered until it was almost dark that the injured male and his three friends were not on the Lake Lovely Water trail, but on a trail on Omega Mountain.

Although they stayed in contact with Search and Rescue using their cell phones, the SAR team called off the search at midnight due to the darkness and the weather. The search began at 6 a.m. the following day, and the hikers were found within a few hours as the cloud cover lifted. A helicopter from the North Shore Rescue airlifted the injured hiker to Squamish General Hospital at around noon, and the remaining three were escorted to another area where they were also picked up by helicopter a few hours later.

According to the police report, the group was not equipped for the terrain or to spend an evening on the mountain side, but were grateful to have been located.