News

Tragedy on the highway near Parksville

A 35-year-old Port Alberni woman is dead after she was hit by a northbound tractor trailer unit on Highway 19 Monday afternoon.

Central Vancouver Island Traffic Services (CVITS) RCMP Cpl. Mike Elston said the woman was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, in the slow lane on the highway. On Wednesday, the B.C. Coronor's Service released the name of the deceased: Tiffany Angel Phillips.

Elston said "efforts to revive her at the scene (by witnesses and B.C. Ambulance personnel) were extensive and it was determined transportation (to hospital) would not do any good."

Elston said the driver of the truck is not at fault and there is "no indication the driver did anything wrong."

A man who contacted The NEWS by e-mail he said witnessed the entire accident. The man did not want to be identified, but The NEWS did reach him by phone to confirm he sent the e-mail.

"I was the first person on the scene, it happened right in front of me," he wrote. He said he was overtaking the tractor trailer in the passing lane "when it happened. All I saw was the truck braking and a woman's body fly off the side towards me and I swerved to avoid striking her. It was a horrible experience."

He also said he was the first to attempt first aid until paramedics showed up.

“The woman was suffering what I think looked like massive internal bleeding and head trauma from the impact,” he said. “I don’t think she could have been saved even if the best emergency room doctors and staff with all their equipment were waiting at the side of the highway when it happened.”

The witness said he hasn’t slept much since witnessing the accident.

“I don’t know who she was or how she ended up in front of that truck,” he said.

Elston said RCMP “will continue to work with the coroner on what was behind it all.”

Elston confirmed alcohol and speed were not contributing factors in the collision and it’s not yet known why the woman was on the four-lane, divided highway at the time.

According to a news release issued by Oceanside RCMP, police were dispatched to a motor vehicle collision involving a pedestrian on Highway 19 between Parksville and Qualicum Beach at 4:45 p.m. Monday.

Traffic on Highway 19 was stopped until 8:45 p.m. while RCMP members and the coroner investigated.

Witnesses are asked to contact Const. Doug Pennington of the Central Vancouver Island Traffic Services RCMP at 250-248-6111.

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