News

Family escapes crash that wrecks vehicle

A police officer records an image of a vehicle that left the Trans-Canada Highway and slid down an embankment in Tappen Monday afternoon.  - James Murray/Observer
A police officer records an image of a vehicle that left the Trans-Canada Highway and slid down an embankment in Tappen Monday afternoon.
— image credit: James Murray/Observer

BY MARTHA WICKETT & BARB BROUWER

It was a busy August long weekend, one that saw Salmon Arm RCMP hopping, but allowed forest-fire crews something of a reprieve.

Among police calls were two motor-vehicle crashes.

In the early afternoon Monday, the four occupants of a vehicle – two children, a man and a woman – were able to walk away from a crash which appeared to destroy their vehicle.

Their vehicle was heading east near the Trickle Inn when the driver may have fallen asleep.

The car crossed the centre line and slid down an embankment, landing between two trees.

Police and the Tappen- Sunnybrae Fire Department responded, and traffic was reduced to one lane on the Trans-Canada.

The family members did not appear to be injured in the crash.

At approximately 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2, three vehicles collided at the intersection of Highway 1 and Highway 97B.

Police report the driver of one of the vehicles involved had attempted to turn left off the Trans-Canada onto Highway 97B, but failed to yield to oncoming traffic. It was struck by another vehicle heading east on Highway 1. The force of the collision caused these vehicles to strike a third one passing through the intersection. Police say all occupants suffered injuries, none of which were believed to be life threatening. One injured person was transported to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops for care.

As for fire danger, thunderstorms that circulated around the Southern Interior sparked several fires but gave most of the Shuswap a miss.

“Over the weekend, when we put up Environment Canada radar, you could see all the storms circulating well out of Salmon Arm,” said fire protection officer Larry Osachoff Tuesday morning. “It was just like we were the centre of the storm; it was a very unusual long weekend, the storms were very localized, not the massive systems that usually come through.”

Lightning from an Aug. 2 storm sparked two fires north of Seymour Arm: one was worked on by a four-person crew for two days and, as of yesterday, was in the patrol stage. The other remote fire had a five-person crew working on it Monday.

The Salmon Arm Fire Zone is a virtual tinder box and the wildfire-free circle around Salmon Arm could be broken with the possibility of lightning accompanied by very little rain in the next few days.

Wildfire Management Branch officials continue to call for extreme caution, particularly with growing concerns about having sufficient personnel to combat the many wildfires burning in the province. In the last month, support staff and fire crews from Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have provided assistance, and the province is not ruling out the possibility of bringing other out-of province firefighters to B.C.

Ministry of Forests crews continue to patrol the Salmon Arm Zone for prohibited campfires and open burning.

Wildfire officials continue to ask people to be vigilant and to report any smoke or fire to  1-800-663-5555, or call *5555 toll free on most cellular networks. You can also report a wildfire to 9-1-1.

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