Multiple car crashes tied up highway traffic in and around Nanaimo on a rainy fall day.
Emergency crews were dealing with several crashes on the Trans-Canada Highway south of Nanaimo, including a four-vehicle crash that happened in the northbound lanes near Haslam Road in Cassidy a little after 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27. One of the vehicles, though it sustained rear-end damage, was able to be driven away from the scene.
Percy Tipping, North Cedar Fire Department chief, said one driver in that wreck was taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Northbound highway traffic was completely blocked and southbound traffic was moving very slowly due to another crash further south near Timberlands Road across from Nanaimo Airport. Tipping described that crash as a multi-vehicle chain-reaction rear-ender that happened in the southbound lanes of the highway. One person from that crash was also taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The two collisions were already tying up North Cedar and Cranberry fire departments when a report came in that there was another collision on Haslam Road, which was being used as a detour route for northbound highway traffic. Tipping said that crash report proved to be unfounded.
The crash at Timberlands Road was cleared by 6 p.m., but it was close to 7 p.m. before the northbound lanes of the highway could be opened, so northbound highway traffic was diverted onto Cedar Road south of Nanaimo Airport, creating a slow-moving bumper-to-bumper traffic jam for several kilometres.
While crews were attending to the highway crashes, another callout came for a crash on Barnes Road.
“We had to scramble … to get through all that traffic,” Tipping said.
The collision on Barnes Road happened on an S-curve near the Holden Corso Road intersection, where the driver lost control of the vehicle and ended up going off the road and into a ditch. The driver did not suffer serious injuries and was checked over at the scene by B.C. Ambulance Service paramedics.
Earlier in the day, about noon, North Cedar volunteer firefighters also dealt with a pickup truck that went over an eight-metre embankment on Harmac Road near MacMillan Road in Cedar. The driver of that crash was also taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital with injuries that Tipping said were also non-life-threatening.
“It was just one of those days with the weather and the roads,” the fire chief said.