A woman was uninjured after her car slammed into a church in the Millstone Avenue area of Nanaimo Jan. 11. (Nicholas Pescod/NEWS BULLETIN)

Car slams into church in Nanaimo

Nanaimo woman uninjured after her vehicle slams into Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo church

A 63-year-old Nanaimo woman is uninjured after her vehicle slammed into the side of a church on Thursday afternoon.

According to Nanaimo Fire Rescue, at approximately 3 p.m. a Ford Focus drove through a stop sign at the intersection of Millstone Avenue and Townsite Road and crashed into the side of Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo church.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue Capt. Bryun Ashlie said no one was inside the church at the time and the woman was unharmed, adding that the RCMP took her home.

Ashlie explained that the woman tried to stop, but for some reason was unable to do so. The incident resulted in significant damage to the vehicle and structural damage to the building.

“Apparently something got stuck under her brake and she couldn’t stop,” Ashlie said, adding that there is now a hole in the side of the church.

It was the second significant motor vehicle incident that occurred in the area on Thursday afternoon.

According to Nanaimo RCMP, approximately 20 minutes earlier, they, along with Nanaimo Fire Rescue, responded to a head-on collision involving a truck and a car that occurred at Bush Street and Pryde Avenue.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said the driver of the truck, a 32-year-old Nanaimo man, failed a roadside sobriety test and was issued a Immediate Roadside Prohibition.

“There was alcohol detected in his system,” he said. “Both vehicles were not drivable and both were towed.”

According to O’Brien, the occupants of the car were a father and his teenage son. He said both had minor injuries and were taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital for precautionary measures.

O’Brien said the incident falls under the motor vehicle act and the driver of the truck had his license revoked for a period of time. According to ICBC, the fees associated with Immediate Roadside Prohibition’s range from $600 to $1,430. O’Brien said those have proven to be effective in reducing incidents involving alcohol.

“What we find with those, is that it hits people in the pocket book,” he said. “What we are finding in most cases, especially with the younger drivers, is that it is having a significant impact on reducing impaired driving.”

He said although criminal charges were not issued in this incident, they have the authority to do so any time there is an incident involving alcohol.


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