Emergency personnel on scene at Country Club Centre on Monday night after a pickup truck collided with buildings and other cars. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP investigating possibility of drug impairment after pickup repeatedly crashes

Driver taken to hospital after series of crashes into cars and buildings at Country Club Centre

No passers-by were hurt as a pickup truck collided several times with mall buildings and vehicles at Country Club Centre on Monday night.

Nanaimo RCMP, Nanaimo Fire Rescue and B.C. Ambulance Service were called to the shopping centre at about 7 p.m. to find that a truck had collided with the mall building at CIBC. Multiple witnesses said the Dodge Ram pickup had collided with two other cars, first a Honda Civic in front of Shoppers Drug Mart and then a Toyota Corolla in front of CIBC, and the truck had then reversed into Urban Barn before driving forward at a high rate of speed into the bank wall.

The male driver of the truck was taken to hospital with unknown injuries and was conscious while being stretchered into the ambulance.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said police have not recommended any charges, but they are investigating the possibility of drug impairment on the part of the pickup’s 38-year-old driver.

“He stayed in the hospital last night. He was not charged,” O’Brien said. “The investigation’s continuing. We’re pursuing possible impairment by drugs, but time is on our side. There’s no reason to rush ahead with this. We have a number of things we have to follow up on.”

The ongoing investigation will include a mechanical examination of the truck, examination of video security footage collected from the incident site and gathering and reviewing witness statements.

“We’ll probably have to get a warrant for any blood seized by the hospital to pursue the impaired by drugs aspect,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien said there was a male passenger in the truck who got out of the vehicle prior to the incident.

“The passenger had been dropped off. We have identified that person and spoken with him,” he said.

O’Brien did not know if the driver had been discharged from hospital.

The first car was hit by the pickup hard enough to deploy the car’s airbags, but there were no reported injuries to that driver.

For past coverage of car crashes in Nanaimo, click here.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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