Accidents defy driving conditions

Highway 97 and Connector route littered with crashed vehicles today.

Despite the relatively positive driving conditions, there were several accidents on Highway 97 and the Coquihalla Connector on Thursday.

Kelowna Const. Kris Clark said he was at a loss to explain the rash of accident, none of which resulted in any fatalities.

“The roads didn’t look to bad from the Drive B.C. cameras. Maybe everyone is in a rush to get home, but I’m not sure what’s going on,” Clark said.

The Connector saw two accidents occur Thursday morning, one involving five vehicles including a semi-truck about 15 kms west of West Kelowna, and another involving a vehicle sliding off the road and into a ditch.

Closer to town, a three vehicle accident happened near the intersection of Daimler Road and Highway 97 in West Kelowna, and a three vehicle accident in Lake Country near Highway 97 and Oceola Road.

The accidents interrupted what has been relatively quiet Christmas holiday break for the RCMP.

“I think we would just remind people to pay attention and slow down when advancing on corners and drive to the road conditions with the appropriate winter tires,” Clark said.

For the fire department, dating back to last week, there have been three fires causing serious damage over the holidays.

The first was a blaze at a duplex on Bolotzky Court near Hollywood Road North on Dec. 18 that left 12 residents, among them seven children, homeless with many of their belongings destroyed in the fire.

A community effort ensued to provide temporary accommodation for the families and to help replace what has been lost.

A West Kelowna mobile home fire at Paradise Mobile Home Park on Boucherie Road has been deemed suspicious at this point. The mobile home was vacant at the time it was reported on fire Monday at 6:17 p.m.,  as two firetrucks and up to 10 firefighters responded to the scene.

The third fire occurred just before 5 p.m. on Christmas Day, as a fire broke out at a home in the 600-block of Bonjou Road as eight people, two teenagers and remainder adults, were forced to evacuate the house.

Platoon Capt. Henry Roelofs said when the first Kelowna Fire Department responders arrived, fire and smoke was coming from the garage and spreading up the front of the house.

All the residents along with the two family cats were able to evacuate the burning house safely, but a parked car in front of the garage was heavily damaged by the fire.

Roelofs said the damage to the house is estimated at $100,000.

 

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