The Jaws of Life were used to save a severely injured driver who plowed into a parked minivan in Westsyde Thursday morning.
At around 7:30 a.m., the lone occupant of a red Pontiac Sunfire was travelling northbound in the 4400 of Westsyde road.
He inexplicably veered across the southbound lane and crashed head-on into an unoccupied Honda Odyssey minivan that was parked along the road with a for sale sign on its windshield.
“Something wasn’t quite right,” said RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Learned of the driver’s actions.
The 44-year-old Kamloops man suffered a severely broken leg and hip as well as head and chest trauma, according to RCMP.
An air ambulance was called in but emergency workers opted for ground transportation.
The driver was expected to survive but signs of brain trauma had medical staff concerned.
The minivan owner was away, according to Frank Stutt, who arrived with his wife to feed the household cats on Thursday morning.
“She just parked it out there yesterday afternoon,” said Stutt.
RCMP crash analyst Const. Jason Reader arrived on scene at 8 a.m. after the driver was taken away.
He saw no evidence of hard braking or attempts to evade the minivan.
He removed the airbag control module from beneath the dashboard for analysis, saying it can give him the vehicle’s rate of speed, attempts at deceleration, when the airbags were deployed, the force of impact and whether a seatbelt was used.
Westsyde Road resident Aaron Taylor was enjoying a more leisurely morning than usual Thursday.
He would’ve normally been leaving his driveway around 7:30 a.m., but instead he was looking out his window.
That’s when he spotted a “flash of red” followed by the booming sound of collision and smoke.
He said the 60 km/hr speed limit along that stretch of road is rarely respected by passing vehicles, especially commercial trucks that routinely roll by.
“Police patrols need to come out past the Dunes,” he said, referring to the golf course a few kilometres south of his home.
He said he fears for the children that live on the street and deer often walk along the roadway.
RCMP Const. Steve Zaharia said police aren’t often called to collisions on the stretch of road but after hearing about the residents’ speeding concerns, police would be patrolling more often with a special lookout for speeding gravel and logging trucks.