Alberni crash sends one to hospital

A Sproat Lake resident has been sent to hospital with undetermined injuries after his jeep and trailer left the road on a steep stretch of Stirling Arm Drive

A Sproat Lake resident had to be extricated from his Jeep after rolling it off a steep stretch of Stirling Arm Road, Tuesday night.

The resident, who officials did not name, had been heading home to the lake hauling a trailer with a small tractor and a ride-on lawn mower when his vehicle left the road at the bottom of a dip in the road. The Jeep came to rest jammed between two trees, pinning the driver.

The single male driver, in his late 50s, was conscious when Sproat Lake Fire Department first responders and Port Alberni Fire Department’s extrication team arrived on scene. A BC Ambulance helicopter was called as a precaution and waited at West Coast General Hospital for the ambulance to arrive with the victim.

“They got it flying when we extricated him,” Sproat Lake fire Chief Peter Klaver said.

The driver’s doctor, who lives in the area, just happened to come upon the scene, and stayed with the driver, Klaver said.

The driver was fortunate his vehicle landed off the road the way it did, Klaver said. “The cab was against two trees so he was pinned. A couple of feet either way and it wouldn’t have been too good.”

Klaver said the driver had “no obvious injuries” when he was extricated, “just a little blood on his hands.” He said he did not know whether the driver was wearing a seatbelt.

A dog that had been travelling with him escaped the wreckage and was found safe a short distance away.

The extrication team had just returned to the Port Alberni Fire Hall after being released from the scene of an apartment fire that has been burning all day on Athol Street between Third and Fourth avenues in uptown Port Alberni.

If the team hadn’t have been in the fire hall, the driver wouldn’t have been rescued as quickly, Klaver said.

Sproat Lake responded with four fire engines and nearly a dozen firefighters in addition to Port Alberni’s three-person extrication crew.

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