Kerry Sutton said the death of the 25-year-old woman who drove her vehicle off the Trans-Canada Highway near Duncan in the early hours of Dec. 16 should never have happened.
Sutton, who owns Sutton Ridge Family Farm, adjacent to the TCH, near Mays Road where the vehicle ended up on its side, said there have been 14 accidents in the same location during the past 11 years, but this is the first time there has been a fatality.
The accident is still under investigation by the RCMP, and the victim’s name and other details have not been released.
Sutton said he can’t explain why there are so many accidents at the site, located in the southbound lanes of the TCH just north of the Cowichan Exhibition, but it’s like a “bomb zone” that is still littered with debris from accidents over the years as vehicles plunge down an approximately 15-foot embankment into a heavily treed field.
Sutton said he has contacted the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure numerous times suggesting that concrete barriers be placed for about 650 feet along the highway above the embankment, but to no avail.
“What’s a human life worth?” he asked as he walked through the debris trail from the accident on Dec. 16, that also left four uninjured survivors.
“If they had put in those barriers as I requested, that young lady would probably still be alive.”
Sutton said on top of the danger that not having the barriers in place poses to the travelling public on the TCH, the ongoing accidents at the site have impacted him and his farm as well.
He said he and his family feel that they can’t go anywhere.
“We’d be liable if some of our Highland Cattle that we raise on our farm got through the broken fence after an accident and ended up on the TCH and caused another accident, even if someone else took the fence out,” Sutton said.
A statement from the Ministry of Transporation and Infrastructure said ministry staff have spoken to Sutton and have committed to review the highway in the area of the crash to see if there are options for safety improvements that could be considered.