Driver accused of fleeing accident scene

A driver accused of fleeing an accident scene while his passengers were left unconscious in an overturned car Friday night is now facing charges.

Victoria police say a brown 1998 Toyota Corolla carrying five people was struck broadside by a Blue Bird Cab after the older-model vehicle blew through a stop sign at Fairfield Road around 10:30 p.m.

The cab driver was unable to avoid hitting the car, which turned over on its right side before landing against the side of a tree at the side of the road.

Witnesses told officers at the scene that the Corolla driver ran away immediately after the crash, while the vehicle occupants were stuck inside. Two people were unconscious.

The two people inside the cab rushed to help the trapped occupants, tipping the car back onto its wheels and administering first aid until help arrived, police said.

Members of the Victoria Fire Department used the Jaws of Life to extricate the two women and two men. They were taken to hospital with various injuries.

Meanwhile, the Corolla driver hailed a different cab, and was detained by Saanich Police after they say he was found getting out outside of his house.

Two of the Corolla passengers were treated in hospital and released, while the two others remain under observation. Authorities say the taxi driver and his two passengers were shaken, but uninjured, and the Corolla driver didn’t sustain any injuries.

A 21-year-old Saanich man was released on a promise to appear, and is facing charges including impaired driving and fleeing the scene of the crash.

A youth unrelated to the accident was injured after an incident involving a K-9 unit that was deployed at the scene to investigate.

The Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner was notified and will conduct an external review of the incident.

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