Jun 25, 2012 / 11:28 am
Three people are in hospital, one with serious, life-threatening injuries, after a jeep plunged about 50 metres down an embankment near the top of Walker Hill on Highway 33 Monday morning.
Sgt. Brian Nightingale, says the vehicle was heading towards Kelowna when it left the road.
"He went off of the curve. It looks like he crossed the road -- just drove straight off the road with no indication of any rotation," says Nightingale.
"It's an indication he probably fell asleep."
Nightingale says the vehicle launched into the air after it left the road. It also caught on fire.
"He vaulted from a ledge and hit a bank which is 17 metres (55 feet) then we went further down into the creek gully another 31 metres (101 feet)."
The driver and his front seat passenger were walking around the scene of the crash and suffered only minor injuries.
He says the passenger in the back seat was more seriously injured.
He was dragged from the vehicle by the other two occupants before the jeep caught fire.
Nightingale says the scene would have been much worse had the occupants not been wearing seatbelts.
"They were fairly fortunate. The two in the front seat, if they hadn't been wearing seatbelts would have definitely been much more seriously injured. The one in the back, if he had been ejected there would have ben no survivors from that."
Nightingale says the occupants were also fortunate the vehicle didn't hit higher on the bank than it did.
He says that could have caused the vehicle to roll all the way down to the bottom of the canyon a thousand metres below.
Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the accident at about 8:30 Monday morning to contact the Central Okanagan Traffic Services office at 250-980-5353 and ask to speak with Cst. Cory Schneider.
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