A 22-year-old Ontario man was taken to hospital with serious injuries after being struck by a vehicle on the highway in the early hours of Saturday, Jan. 27.
Whistler RCMP was en route to another call at about 1:10 a.m. when they came across a white, full-sized van with extensive front-end damage and a smashed windshield in the northbound lane between the entrance to Brio and Blueberry Drive, said Staff Sgt. Paul Hayes.
"It was determined the white van was travelling northbound, and after clearing the intersection at Highway 99 and Blueberry, collided with the pedestrian, who was reportedly walking in the middle of the road, in between both lanes of travel, on the yellow line, hitching for a ride," Hayes said.
"We do believe that the pedestrian was under the influence of alcohol."
The incident occurred during a night of heavy snow and poor visibility.
An investigation is ongoing.
"If people were out that night and witnessed it and they haven't spoken to us before, we'd love to talk to them, especially trying to trace back where he was coming from and what he was up to," Hayes said.
"In terms of charges, at the end of the day, we're going to have to wait until we've sort of put it all together, at this point."
Anyone with information can call the Whistler RCMP detachment at 604-932-3044.
AUSTRALIA DAY WEEKEND KEEPS POLICE BUSY
Whistler RCMP may re-evaluate its approach next year after another busy Australia Day weekend in the resort.
The weekend was punctuated by increased calls for service (most related to excessive drinking) and two males arrested for jumping off the roof of the Longhorn.
"I think what we're going to have to probably do for next year is take a close look at these incidents that have happened this year, compare them against last year, see what we're actually dealing with on a year-to-year basis, and possibly come up with a better solution so that folks out there can have a good time and still enjoy themselves, but at the same time not cross that line into the criminal world," Hayes said.
Alcohol was a "major factor" in both instances of Aussie Day roof jumpers, he said.
Though both men were arrested, charges weren't pressed in either case.
"In the first one, it would appear as though he was able to be released on his own," Hayes said. "In the second one, the person was too intoxicated to care for themselves, so they were taken into custody by us until they could be released sober."
HEAVY SNOWFALL LEADS TO INCREASE IN COLLISIONS
In addition to the pedestrian incident on Jan. 27, police responded to eight collisions in the Whistler area from Jan. 23 to Jan. 30, Hayes said.
"They were all attributable to weather, poor visibility, driver inattention or all three," he said.
Police also took five impaired drivers off the road over that span.
With proper tire designation a hot topic as of late, Hayes said the Whistler RCMP has been very proactive in checking tires to ensure compliance (either M+S or Snowflake during the winter months).
"In all of our accident investigations during the winter months we have a separate note that we make about the condition of the tire making sure that they're appropriate, and in actual fact we have a very high compliance with the standards that are required on the highway," Hayes said.
"Obviously the snowflake is the better of the two tires, but for the vast majority of people that we check, the tires are compliant."