Accident under investigation

On the scene: Ten people were involved in the collision in March.
On the scene: Ten people were involved in the collision in March.

A head-on collision that closed Sun Peaks Road for two hours on March 16 is still under investigation.

The crash occurred around 9 a.m. when a passenger van carrying nine people collided with a School District 73 cube van with one passenger that was heading downhill after making a morning delivery.

The road conditions were icy with compact snow at the time of the collision and police are looking at speed relative to the conditions as a possible cause of the crash. Staff Sgt. Doug Aird of the Tk’emlups Rural RCMP detachment said the incident is more than likely to be investigated as a Motor Vehicle Act incident.

Fourteen members of Sun Peaks Fire Rescue (SPFR), as well as two paramedics from an air ambulance helicopter, were among the first responders on scene.

“It was a call that was challenging due to the number of patients involved. We usually have one maybe two patients, not ten,” said chief of SPFR Colin Cannon.

“This was one of the very few times that as our initial crews were arriving, the two initial paramedics out of the helicopter were also being driven down from Bento’s to the accident scene and that’s a credit to the Sun Peaks Resort corporation’s first aid team there that were able to facilitate a landing very quickly and then the transport of getting those two critical care paramedics, which is the highest level you can get to, down to the accident site right away.”

SPFR members are trained to a higher standard than most fire departments, which allowed them to help assess and treat the people involved in the crash before four ground ambulance were able to arrive on site.

“We train to a much higher level than a lot of other fire departments just because of our distance away from Kamloops so we train not only to first responder, but we go to the Emergency Medical Responder level,” Cannon said.

“As a fire department we try to push the boundaries about how much we can train them and basically allow them to improve themselves in such things as first aid, which is a big one obviously on a call like that.”

All 10 people were transported to hospital in Kamloops, two patients in serious condition, one in critical condition, and seven people with non-life threatening injuries, according to Interior Health Authority.
SPFR will conduct a one-week Emergency Medical Responder course during the second week of May.

Those interested need to have a first responder ticket, OFA level 3 or have completed an 80 hour first aid course. The course costs $600 and there are eight spots available.