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B.C. truck driver hailed as hero for evasive driving that likely saved a life: police

Click to play video: 'Crash involving semi and SUV closes section of Highway 19 near Nanaimo'
Crash involving semi and SUV closes section of Highway 19 near Nanaimo
A crash involving a semi-truck and an SUV has sent two people to the hospital and closed a section of Highway 19 in Nanaimo. It happened Wednesday morning on the Nanaimo parkway between Cedar Road and College Drive. – Jun 19, 2024

RCMP officers are hailing a truck driver as “a hero” after a serious collision in Nanaimo on Wednesday morning.

Nanaimo RCMP Staff Sgt. Darwin Tetreault said police were called at 6:02 a.m. to a crash between a truck and an SUV on Highway 19 near Exit 16.

The SUV was heading south when it crossed into the northbound lanes and crashed into the truck, he said.

Tetreault said the truck driver swerved to avoid the SUV, flipping the truck, adding that the evasive driving measure likely saved the SUV driver’s life.

The truck driver had to be air-lifted to hospital in serious condition, however, after he was pinned in the truck. It took Nanaimo Fire and Rescue crews two and a half hours to stabilize him and to get him out.

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Tetreault said nine airbags were deployed in the SUV and the driver suffered minor injuries. He was detained by police for investigation of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

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In an email to Global News, B.C. Emergency Health Services said it was called at 6:09 a.m.

“Two ambulances with primary care paramedics, an ambulance with advanced care paramedics, a supervisor and an air ambulance with critical care paramedics responded to the scene,” EHS said.

“Paramedics provided emergency medical care to two patients. One patient was transported by air ambulance to hospital. The second patient with minor injuries was transported by ground ambulance to hospital.”

The aftermath of a truck and SUV collision on Highway 19 in Nanaimo on Wednesday. Global News
The aftermath of a truck and SUV collision on Highway 19 in Nanaimo on Wednesday. Global News

The southbound lanes of the highway are now open but the northbound lanes remain blocked.

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