Booze behind serious crash

UPDATE 11:45 a.m.

Kelowna RCMP say a driver involved in a serious collision that almost split a truck in two early Monday faces possible impaired driving charges.

A female passenger extracted from the wreckage remains in critical condition in a medically induced coma.

Police say the single-vehicle crash happened about 2:15 a.m. at the intersection of Harvey Avenue and Banks Road. The eastbound Chevrolet Avalanche was severely damaged when it struck a traffic light standard.

“The extent of the intrusion of damage into the passenger compartment ... was so significant, that the civilian motorists who were first on scene were unable to observe a severely injured female in the rear passenger compartment,” says Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.

“Emergency crews were required to extricate the female, who was rushed to hospital in critical condition.”

Officers detected symptoms that led them to suspect the driver was impaired by alcohol. The man failed a roadside screening test and was taken to the RCMP detachment, where he also failed a breathalyzer test.

The 26-year-old Kelowna man suffered minor injuries and is in police custody.

Any witnesses are asked to contact Kelowna RCMP Municipal Traffic Section at 250-762-3300.

UPDATE 8:20 a.m.

Traffic appears to have returned to normal on Highway 97 and the intersection of Banks Road following a serious single vehicle collision. A red pickup has now been been removed from the scene and traffic is flowing at normal levels as of 8:20 a.m.

Castanet has reached out to Kelowna RCMP for further details on the cause of the collision and any injuries which may have resulted as a result. The vehicle came to rest on the concrete island and appeared to have been virtually split in half after hitting a light standard.

UPDATE 7:35 a.m.

A tipster has told Castanet that the Red pickup which collided with a light standard at Highway 97 and Banks Road was split right through the hood and cab all the way to the bed of the truck.

The caller indicated she was trying to help a neighbour who had suffered a heart attack and was rushing to the hospital just after 2:20 a.m. when she saw the truck "wrapped around the light standard" and completely off the highway on the concrete island. "I've never seen an accident that bad," says the caller who asked to remain anonymous. She also indicated debris from the collision was strewn all across the intersection and there were no emergency crews on scene at that time.

While she was at the hospital, she indicated emergency responders were bringing what they described as a very serious emergency from a collision to hospital.

Still no word on the extent of injuries or what caused the single vehicle collision.

Northbound traffic on Highway 97 appears to be impacted by the clean up and removal.

ORIGINAL 6:17 a.m.

Emergency crews are on scene of what appears to be a serious collision on Highway 97 and Banks Road.

A red vehicle has collided with a light standard at the intersection, the incident appears to have happened after 3 a.m. Monday morning and crews are still on scene as of 6:15 a.m. trying to clear the scene.

no word on the severity of injuries and traffic is still moving at this time.

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