Crash driver in coma

The driver of a van involved in a crash with a fuel tanker truck on the Malahat Highway north of Victoria on Thursday has been placed in a medically induced coma.

The truck driver suffered minor injuries, but the female courier driver suffered multiple leg fractures, two broken knees and her pelvis was shattered, family members say.

She was to be brought out of the coma after surgery at Victoria General Hospital on Friday, and further surgery may be performed today.

The crash closed the highway through Goldstream Provincial Park until early Friday.

There was no contamination of a salmon-bearing stream nearby, sources say.

But the traffic bottleneck the crash created had Premier John Horgan musing aloud about a bridge across Stanch Inlet to provide an alternate route into the capital.

"I was born and raised on the Island. I've represented the Malahat for the past almost decade-and-a-half, and I know as well as anyone in British Columbia the challenges of that ribbon of highway," Horgan said in Vancouver. "It is the only way in and out of the capital city of British Columbia, and it's been a challenge for a long, long time."

He said a 2007 study under the BC Liberal government considered a bridge across the inlet at a cost of $700 million to $1.2 billion. It would span from Mill Bay to Deep Cove or Bamberton to Highlands.

At the time, the province opted for highway improvements to the existing highway.

– with files from CTV Vancouver Island

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