Two air ambulances attended the scene of a multiple vehicle accident on Highway 18 shortly after 6 a.m. this morning.
North Cowichan/Duncan Cpl. Jon Stuart confirmed the collision occured on Highway 18 near Hillcrest Road and a pickup heading eastbound from Lake Cowichan appears to have crossed the centre line coming into the path of a west-bound truck towing a boat trailer.
Although initial calls reported a fatality, Stuart said two victims with “very serious injuries” have been airlifted to hospital.
It appears as if there were two passengers in each vehicle.
Mark Primmer of Well Bred Bakery in Chemainus was part of a fishing trip convoy headed to Port Renfrew early Wednesday morning.
“Well, I should say, the fishing trip did not happen. We were part of a two-boat convoy this morning when the truck and boat ahead of us was struck head-on by a vehicle on the road to Lake Cowichan,” said Primmer on a Facebook post with a photo illustrating the gruesome scene. “Surreal is the word that comes to mind.”
Primmer’s still coming to terms with the incident.
“There was an explosion and stuff and smoke and what have you. You kind of squint your eyes. I’m still in disbelief,” he said by telephone late Wednesday morning. “Both the trucks were white. When the smoke was clearing and in the confusion, you didn’t even know which one was which.”
Primmer didn’t know the folks in the first truck that well and hadn’t heard any updates on their injuries.
Highway 18 is currently blocked off in both directions as investigators scour the scene.
“There is a detour through the new connector at Tansor and Hwy. 18,” Mainroad South Island contractors note.
The estimated re-opening time is noon or sooner, says Mainroad.