Update: 3:13 p.m.
A 23-year-old man from the North Okanagan-Shuswap area has been charged with several offences under the motor vehicle act after nearly striking first responders to an accident scene on Sunday.
“At least two fire fighters of the Lake Country Volunteer Fire Department, who had been directing traffic around the initial collision scene, were forced to dive out of the path of the Dodge Ram pickup truck,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey. “A snowmobile being transported by the Dodge Ram pickup truck, launched nearly 30 feet from its truck bed and landed in the oncoming northbound lanes of the highway.”
Police say it’s not clear why the truck ran through what was a closed section of the highway and struck the Lake Country fire engine, narrowly missing an RCMP officer.
“RCMP have ruled out alcohol as a factor in the collision, however police believe that the driver of that Dodge pickup truck may have fallen asleep behind the wheel prior to the crash,” said O’Donaghey. ““During this chain reaction crash, the Dodge pickup truck narrowly missed striking the marked police cruiser, with a Lake Country RCMP officer inside completing her police reports at the scene.”
The charges to the driver of the pickup truck included fines of over $1,100.
One of Lake Country’s first-in fire trucks is on the sidelines after being damaged in an incident Sunday that could have been much worse.
After attending a single vehicle accident southbound on the new stretch of Highway 97 near Oyama, a Lake Country fire engine stayed behind, closing off two lanes of the three-lane stretch of highway, as RCMP and members of the public remained at the accident scene.
However according to the Lake Country Fire Department, a pick-up truck ignored its members who were doing traffic control and drove through the lanes that were closed, attempting to cut back into the fast lane, near the accident scene.
“We had two lanes closed off and the guys were filtering traffic over to the left side,” explained Penner. “A big truck decided to speed through the slow lane. He ended up running over the cones. Our guys tried to get his attention but they had to get out of the way before he sharply took a left turn and clipped the front of the truck.”
Penner said the truck careened across the highway into the cement barricade and then across the road again, where it struck a car that had come to pick up the original accident victim.
“It is a negative thing for us to lose a truck but it was a very positive thing that we were there,” said Penner. “The RCMP member was working in her car and if our guys hadn’t blocked the road with the truck, she would have been struck from behind.”
The fire department had set up cones and were acting as traffic control within a safety zone to protect the RCMP member as well as members of the public in the accident scene.
It was unknown if any charges have been laid against the driver of the pick-up as of the Lake Country Calendar press deadline.
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