A car stopped on the shoulder of Highway 1 on Wednesday morning started a chain reaction of braking vehicles and rear-enders that sent three to hospital.
RCMP didn't know what to think when calls started coming into 911 about a car accident on Highway 1 westbound near Peterson Bridge.
"The first reported a four-vehicle pileup west of the Peterson Creek Bridge, then the next 911 call was a two-vehicle MVA just by the Summit exit on the west Trans Canada and the third call was about a pickup truck on the side of the road on the westbound Trans Canada near the Summit exit," said Staff Sgt. Grant Learned.
Once the officers got on scene, things became clear, he said.
At around 8:30 a.m. a car that pulled over to the side of the highway apparently spooked a driver who braked hard, causing the vehicle behind it to rear-end him.
The line of vehicles following in the slow lane also had to brake hard causing a black Honda driver to slam on the brakes about 100 metres behind the initial crash. A GMC pickup truck driver following the Honda swerved to avoid a rear-ender, clipped the Honda and drove up an embankment less than 10 feet away from the edge of a precipice into Peterson Creek.
The GMC driver was taken to hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. The two drivers in the vehicles that were rear-ended also went to hospital with indications of whiplash.
The westbound highway's slow lane was closed to traffic for less than an hour while the truck was removed.
Two tow trucks had to simultaneously pull the GMC truck from the embankment so it didn't tilt right or left off the cliff.
The drivers who crashed into vehicles' back ends will be ticketed for driving without due care for tailgating, said Learned.