With files from Clare Ogilvie
It has been a horrific week in Pemberton, with two fatal car accidents and one serious injury occurring on Highway 99 in a five-day period.
Following a fatal car accident on Tuesday, Sept. 18, a man was killed on Friday, Sept. 21 and another man was in critical care at Vancouver General Hospital following an accident that occurred on Saturday, Sept. 22.
All three accidents involved either speed or alcohol.
Marc Brodeur, 25, died at approximately 7:30 Friday morning while driving from his home in Pemberton to a breakfast meeting in Whistler. He was on an 80 km/h curve with a 60 km/h cautionary sign near Narin Falls when his car skidded off the road and 200 metres down the embankment. No other cars were involved in the accident.
Police found his 1992 Honda Civic severely damaged and Brodeur, who had not been wearing a seatbelt, had suffered serious injuries. Attempts to revive him with CPR were unsuccessful.
The second crash occurred at 4 a.m. on Saturday morning near the Green River rail crossing. Darrel Reid, 42, was traveling north to Pemberton from Whistler when his car went off road right and rolled over, ejecting Reid from the vehicle. According to RCMP Cpl. Paul Vadik, Reid was intoxicated and speeding at the time of the accident.
After arriving on the scene, Fire Rescue and Ambulance personnel rushed Reid to the Whistler Medical Centre and then airlifted him to VGH, where he remains in critical care, suffering from severe spinal injuries and internal bleeding.
On Sept. 18 Avalene Fraser was killed when her car went off the road approximately five kilometres north of Pemberton and hit a tree.
The series of accidents has rocked the Pemberton community. Mayor Jordan Sturdy, who was a close friend of Brodeur’s, is asking people to slow down when traveling the highway.
“This can never be a political issue for me. It has broken our family apart,” said Sturdy.
“All I can say is that all of these things are tragic, and that I encourage people to slow down and wear their seatbelt and take their time, and that life is very fragile.”
Cpl. Vadik said that RCMP officers are “dropping the hammer” to crack down on the notorious speeding that occurs on this stretch of highway.
According to Vadik, RCMP officers patrolled the highway from 6:30 to 8 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, laying a total of 40 charges for speeding.