A flag person was struck by a vehicle on Highway 6 in Lavington at 10 am Friday morning. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)

A flag person was struck by a vehicle on Highway 6 in Lavington at 10 am Friday morning. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)

Shock hits Okanagan flagging company

Experienced employee battling serious injuries after being hit by a car

A professional with 37 years of experience keeping drivers and workers safe on local highways is now battling a devastating workplace injury.

An employee of Okanagan Traffic Control Professionals was struck by a car Friday morning on Highway 6 in Lavington. The 66-year-old Enderby resident remains in serious but stable condition at Kelowna General Hospital.

While the loving wife and mother to two sons and a daughter fights in hospital, her colleagues are shaken by the incident.

“It’s a pretty terrible thing,” said Traci Jeeves, OCTP owner.

Unable to hold back her tears, Jeeves explains how Friday was a special day for the flagger.

“It was her 66th birthday on the day she was hurt.”

Having worked for her for 10 years, no one ever would have expected this to happen.

“She was top notch. She had 37 years experience so it’s a bit of a shock to all of us who have a lot of experience because there’s nothing we could have done,” said Jeeves, who has been in business for 17 years and says her staff have hundreds of hours of experience.

“If anyone would have been hurt I would have never guessed it would have been anyone from my team.”

Therefore the incident has left the “family” at OCTP shaken.

“There is critical, serious head injuries,” said Jeeves. “She is not doing very good so we are waiting for her to respond to medications that will reduce the bleeding and swelling in her head.

“It’s pretty hard.”

Jeeves only hopes that the incident can serve as a reminder to motorists to pay attention.

“It doesn’t matter how much experience you (traffic control personnel) have, if a driver is distracted it, it can happen.”

At the same time, she feels for the 75-year-old driver.

“This poor driver he made an error and now he’s, I’m sure, mourning and grieving somewhere – I just can’t imagine how he’s feeling.

“He tried to stop, he saw our stop sign but couldn’t stop in time, for whatever reason. It was an accident.”

Meanwhile an awareness event planned Saturday for the site where the flagger was hit, has been moved from the somber site. The event will take place on Highway 97 in Vernon on hospital hill.

“It’s a little too soon,” said Jeeves. “How do we support that? I would love to be there, but I was just there picking up garments on the roadway.”

While she knows those planning the event and attending mean well, it’s still so raw for those still in shock from the incident.

“I’m supporting my workers to do whatever they want. But Sunday was a world day of remembrance for traffic victims. I don’t think we need another day this close to when (she) was hurt.”



jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Craft Culture Events hosts its first of four summer markets at Prospera Place in Kelowna (Craft Culture Events/Contributed).
Kelowna’s Prospera Place summer market a success

Craft Culture Events hosts its first of four summer markets and vendors were ‘excited’ to be back

Lightning in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms overnight

(Dave Ogilvie/Contributed)
UPDATE: West Kelowna fire crews rescue injured mountain biker

The injury took place at the top of Smith Creek Road

Kelowna flags were flown at half-mast after the discovery of a residential school burial site in Kamloops. (File photo)
Central Okanagan school board chair reflects on recent tragedies

Moyra Baxter offers condolenses to residential school victims, slain Muslim family

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Most Read