A 27-year-old Kelowna man is now facing potential impaired driving charges after a dramatic crash on Highway 97 that had the potential to turn deadly.
On Monday Dec.21, 2015 at 9:24 p.m. Kelowna RCMP received a report of a two vehicle crash on Highway 97 North at Banks Road. Kelowna RCMP responded to the crash along with the Kelowna Fire Department.
“A grey 2003 Honda Odyssey minivan, occupied by a 51-year-old Lake Country man, and his passenger a 46-year-old woman also of Lake Country, was travelling north bound on Highway 97 North south of Banks Road,” said Const. Jesse O’Donaghey. “The driver of the Honda Odyssey was executing a lane change from the centre lane to the left hand fast lane when he was suddenly struck from behind by a green 1995 Toyota Corolla.
The driver of the Toyota Corolla, a 27-year-old Kelowna man, was not suffering from any overt injuries and exhibited signs of suspected alcohol intoxication to the officers on scene.
As a result, a demand was made of the driver of the Toyota Corolla who provided samples of his breath roadside which, police say, resulted in a fail. He was subsequently taken to the Kelowna RCMP Detachment for additional testing where he provided breath samples in excess of the legal limit. After further investigation police believed that the driver was also under the influence of drugs and called in a Drug Recognition Expert to conduct a Drug Influence Evaluation.
The occupants of the Honda van sustained minor injuries and were provided medical treatment at the scene.
“This crash had the potential to end in a Christmas tragedy,” says O’Donaghey. “The force of the collision caused the Honda Odyssey van to land partially in the on-coming fast lane of the highway. A third vehicle was forced to take evasive action to avoid a second and potentially fatal collision.”
“Kelowna RCMP wish to remind the public that CounterAttack Road Checks are on now,” adds O’Donaghey, “the Kelowna RCMP will continue working hard to remove dangerous impaired drivers from our roadways, and urge motorists to plan ahead for a safe ride home.”
The 27-year-old Kelowna man faces potential charges of operation of a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol and drug, as well as driving while over .08. He was later released from police custody and is expected to appear Court on April 28, 2016.