Series of highway car crashes rattle south-end

It was not a weekend to feel safe and secure behind the wheel in the valley’s south end.

Police responded to a series of accidents in a three-day period beginning Friday morning.

The most recent was a two-vehicle crash on the Trans-Canada Highway at Hutchinson Road that resulted in two children and their father being transported to hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Shawnigan Lake RCMP, B.C. Ambulance paramedics and Mill Bay firefighters responded to the crash this morning, after a 2009 Jeep travelling northbound struck a white 1998 Pontiac van travelling west-bound on a green light across the intersection.

The van’s occupants — a 40-year-old Mill Bay man and his 2- and 3-year-old children, both in car seats — were taken to Cowichan District Hospital for precautionary reasons.

The 49-year-old male driver of the Jeep, meanwhile, was uninjured and handed a violation ticket under the Motor Vehicle Act, police said.

“Fortunately, no serious injuries resulted,” Shawnigan Lake RCMP Sgt. Rob Webb said. “The car seats for the children were a great example as to why we need our little ones restrained in vehicles. They appeared unfazed throughout dealing with all the emergency personnel.”

Webb also commended the paramedics and firefighters for their great work, especially while dealing with the small children.

Meanwhile, evening traffic on the Malahat Drive was snarled Sunday after a two-vehicle crash.

West Shore RCMP say the crash near Goldstream Park, which occurred at about 5:30 p.m., closed the ‘Hat in both directions for about half an hour.

It was then open to alternating traffic for the next 2 1/2 hours.

Both drivers were transported to hospital with serious, but non life-threatening, injuries.

Police continue to investigate the crash.

Finally, two separate but simultaneous black-ice crashes kept Shawnigan Mounties, paramedics and Mill Bay firefighters busy on Friday morning.

Both incidents happened near Bamberton at about 8:25 a.m. on Dec. 9.

“The first accident involved a 2005 Mazda pick-up truck that went off the road right after hitting black ice on the highway just south of Butterfield Road,” Shawnigan Lake RCMP Sgt. Rob Webb said in an email to media.

“The truck overturned completely, narrowly missing a lamp standard, and then righted itself. The 25-year-old male drive from Nanaimo was able to walk away from the accident unharmed.”

Meanwhile, the second crash happened about a quarter of a kilometre away from the first, when a 29-year-old woman from Victoria in a 2006 Toyota pick-up truck hit black ice and struck the median on her left-hand side in the northbound lane.

“The driver sustained a broken wrist and was taken to Cowichan District Hospital,” Webb said. “Traffic northbound was single-lane for approximately one hour to fix the median and have vehicles removed.”

He advised caution as ice becomes more common on valley roads.

“In these instances, the witnesses advised speed was not a factor. Folks should keep in mind adding weight to their truck boxes as the light rear-ends likely didn’t help,” he said. “Both drivers were extremely fortunate. The rollover very easily could have been much worse, and the median accident could very well have been a head-on.”

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