This past weekend, my wife, Kris, and I and a couple of friends, Chris and Julie, spent the weekend snowboarding at Whistler, 2 hours north of Vancouver, BC. We had a great time, some great food, and a little booze and snowboarded our butts off, heading out for Seattle at around 4:30 Sunday afternoon.
We stopped at the Whistler Blackcomb outlet store in Squamish, then Canadian Tire to pick up some LED Christmas lights. The drive was mostly uneventful, but the roads were wet and the rain was falling heavily.
I was a little unnerved driving down the Sea to Sky Highway in the dark with so many other cars and all this rain, so I was driving cautiously and slowly, letting cars pass me every time we encountered a passing lane, finally settling in behind a small truck that was pacing itself similarly.
About 10 minutes north of Vancouver Kris yelled “Oh Jesus!” I quickly refocused my wandering attention on the truck in front of me and the oncoming car, in our lane, directly in front of the truck. *SMASH!!!* I spied a double shot of good luck for us in the form of a gap between oncoming cars and a paved shoulder on the other side of the oncoming lane. Looked back at the crash coming up fast to see flying debris and the truck on its side up against the concrete barriers on the right and the front and driver’s side of the car completely smashed in.
Taking the opportunity to avoid becoming part of the carnage I shot across the oncoming lane and onto the shoulder. A driver coming in the opposite direction had the exact same idea and was heading directly for me on the shoulder. I mentally pleaded with the other driver to have the sense to let me have the shoulder as he had his own, unobstructed lane to stay in.
Yes, seeing a scary head on collision makes you want to pull onto the first shoulder you see, but first you have to get out of harms way. He got my point and darted back into his lane and continued past us without a scratch to either car.
We stopped and Chris made a quick call to 911 (thankfully Canada uses the same emergency phone number we do), and got out of the car to get more details for the operator.
Within about 5 minutes an ambulance was there and shortly several firetrucks. They used the Jaws of Life to extract the driver of the car, who was in pretty bad shape and he was medevaced to Vancouver General after being rushed down to nearest hospital by ambulance. The driver of the truck seemed ok, but was wheeled away on a stretcher in a neck-brace and ambulanced to the nearest hospital.
After I don’t know how long we were asked to come back to the station to give our witness’ statements. We were questioned by a very nice Canada cop until about 9:30 last night, then made it home at about 12:30.
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