Five-vehicle crash at Government-Cairnsmore corner injures six

Paramedics take injured person to hospital after Thursday
Paramedics take injured person to hospital after Thursday's four-vehicle crash at Cairnsmore-Government corner. Multi-injuries and heavy damage ensued when a Subaru hit Island Mediquip's building.
— image credit: Andrew Leong

A bumper-sticker advising 'If you don't like how I drive, stay off the sidewalk' applied during Thursday's five-car, multi-injury crash at Cairnsmore and Government streets.

Police explained Monday how a local male suspect, driving a blue Subaru Impreza car, allegedly confused the gas pedal with the brake.

That mistake caused his ride to hop the sidewalk curb on Government at about 5 p.m., hit the Island Mediquip building's west side, and start on fire during a destructive chain-reaction in the northbound lane.

"The car that hit the building was on fire in the engine compartment, and citizens put it out with fire extinguishers," Duncan fire chief Mike McKinlay said.

The collisions occurred in a 30-kph school zone near Queen Margaret's School, where students were attending summer programs, staff explained.

Police are not releasing the Subaru suspect's name, but will send a request to motor-vehicle branch brass to have the driver's licence reviewed, explained Cpl. Krista Hobday of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP.

Charges were pending under the Motor Vehicle Act, she noted.


The chaos saw paramedics treat several people as Duncan Volunteer Fire Department members dusted the light-controlled, pedestrian-busy corner with absorbent soil, and hosed vehicles to prevent fires.

Hobday explained the Subaru approached the pedestrian-busy intersection where four other vehicles were stopped in traffic.

"The driver, a 73-year-old Crofton resident, made an attempt to brake but it is believed he accelerated instead."

At high speed, the Subaru pulled into oncoming traffic, then tried to pull back in but its passenger side struck the driver's side of a Plymouth Voyager, sending the Voyager's female passenger to Cowichan District Hospital.

The Subaru then hit a Ford pick-up truck, destroying its rear end, and sending its driver to hospital.

"The Subaru rebounded post collision, spinning out in the opposite direction where it overtook the curb and sidewalk, crashing into the Island Mediquip Building," Hobday's release reads.

Both of the Subaru's airbags were deployed before its driver and passenger were taken to CDH.

Meanwhile, the pickup was forced into the rear end of a Honda CRV "which then collided with the fourth vehicle, a Chrysler Pacifica," Hobday says.

The Pacifica's driver and passenger were also taken to CDH.

One resident called for speed bumps to control the K-shaped corner flanked by homes, and 7-Eleven and 49th Parallel stores.

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