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Vehicle crashes down embankment along the highway in Nanaimo

Driver reportedly conscious but taken to hospital

A driver was taken to hospital after his vehicle veered off the Nanaimo Parkway and crashed down an embankment.

Emergency crews were called to the crash location in a construction zone about 300 metres north of the intersection of the parkway, Fifth Street and College Drive at about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 12.

Crews on scene said the vehicle went off the side of the highway’s northbound lanes for unknown reasons and crashed in a mid-town water supply construction area.

Will Roberts, a pipe layer with Knappett Industries, was one of two construction workers who were first to respond to the crash scene. He said he watched the vehicle go over the embankment before coming to rest upside-down about 100 metres down the embankment beside a service road in the construction area.

“I was working across the highway and I just happened to look over my shoulder and see him veer off the highway and … our [construction] fence panels flying in the air and I immediately jumped over the barrier and ran down as fast as I could and made sure [the driver] was alive,” Roberts said. “Luckily we had another guy down there to help me out.”

Roberts, who has first aid training, and his coworker made sure the driver was in stable condition and kept him still until first responders arrived.

“I have no recollection of going down there – adrenaline,” Roberts said.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue acting Capt. Maxwell Bates said firefighters had some difficulty bringing the driver from the vehicle to an ambulance waiting on the parkway to transport him to hospital.

“It presented some challenges. It was a steep bank about 250 feet down. There is a trail access that workers on-site have been using,” Bates said. “The individual’s now in care of B.C. EHS and he’ll be taken to the hospital.”

The extent of the driver’s injuries was unknown, but firefighters on scene said he was conscious and speaking with first responders.

One northbound lane of the parkway was closed.

According to the latest available data from ICBC, there were 17 crashes at the intersection of the Nanaimo Parkway, Fifth Street and College Drive in 2022 and 75 during the five-year period from 2018-2022.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo intersection keeps dubious title as Island’s worst

Firefighters carry the injured driver of an SUV to an ambulance after the vehicle veered off the Nanaimo Parkway and over a steep embankment at a construction site just north of Vancouver Island University on Tuesday, March 12. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Fire Rescue assistant chief Troy Libbus, left, and acting captain Maxwell Bates survey the crash scene from the Nanaimo Parkway after a vehicle veered off the highway Tuesday, March 12. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Emergency personnel and construction workers assist after a vehicle crashed down an embankment along the Nanaimo Parkway on Tuesday, March 12. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

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