PARKSVILLE — An alleged impaired driver going the wrong-way on the Inland Island Hwy. miraculously didn’t cause any serious injuries or deaths.
Central Island Traffic Services RCMP Cpl. Darrin Ramey said witnesses called in Thursday just after 7 a.m. about a car traveling south in the northbound lanes of Highway 19 near the Highway 4 junction.
Ramey said the driver might have driven the right direction at one point, but a report came in saying the same car was once again going the wrong way.
The car eventually veered into the median near the French Creek bridge to avoid a car, then went back on the highway briefly before rolling in the median, Ramey said.
“We are so lucky that there wasn’t a head-on collision because the speed limit there is 120 km/h, if you have a closing speed of 240 km/h it could have been devastating.”
Ramey said the driver, a 46-year-old Nanaimo man, was arrested and failed a roadside screening test. He noted the driver sustained minor injuries and somehow no vehicles were hit.
Ramey said cases of vehicles going the wrong-way are rare, and typically involve an honest mistake by a driver, who then quickly turns around.
“It’s when you have somebody that’s impaired, by let’s say alcohol like this fellow we’re alleging, where they would continue to drive in the wrong way and that’s when you really increase your chances of tragedy.”
Story written by Ian Holmes