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Moment of highway driving terror: Oncoming vehicle passes SUV on passenger side

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A B.C. resident experienced a moment of highway driving terror when an oncoming vehicle crossed the centre line and passed her SUV on its passenger side – Dec 11, 2020

It should have been a routine drive. Instead, for a B.C. woman, it turned into moments of sheer terror.

Leia Morris says she was driving to pick up some groceries this week when, suddenly, an oncoming vehicle veered across the centre lines of Highway 6 in the North Okanagan.

A resident of Coldstream, Morris had just changed lanes, from the right to the left, for an upcoming turn – a move that likely saved her life.

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The oncoming vehicle, believed to be a truck, swerved across Morris’s path, passing her on the right.

Dashcam video on Morris’s 2011 Nissan Murano shows she was travelling the speed limit of 80 kilometres an hour during the incredibly close near-miss. Morris believes the other truck was going faster.

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“Looking back on it, if I hadn’t just changed lanes — which I kind of do out of habit on that stretch in preparation for turning left – I think it would have been a completely different situation,” said Morris, who is on maternity leave with an eight-month-old son, her first child.

After the oncoming vehicle passed her on her right, Morris slowed to around 40 km/h before regaining speed and eventually turning around to see if the other vehicle had crashed.

It hadn’t.

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“I went back along that stretch of highway and I couldn’t find (anything) at all,” said Morris. “So I then parked and composed myself and looked at the video, then gathered myself to continue going to town to run the errands.”

Morris said it appeared the oncoming vehicle “kept going straight” around the slight bend, adding that “he didn’t even attempt to turn. He just kept going.”

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The incident, said Morris, could have had a much different outcome.

“Being a new mom … it was a split second. It didn’t take much at all,” she said. “I was in shock; I didn’t really react right away, I just kind of went through the motions.

“And if he did hit me, my son may not have a mother and my husband may not have a wife. Or it could happen to any other family.

“It’s scary enough going on right now; don’t need to add that extra bit.”

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This week’s incident wasn’t the only close call for Morris. She also posted a video showing a commercial truck slightly crossing the centre line of a two-lane highway, forcing her to move onto the shoulder to prevent being sideswiped.

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That July 20 incident was along Glenmore Road heading into Kelowna.

“My job entails a lot of driving,” said Morris, “whereas this year I’m hardly driving at all and I’m getting all these close calls.”

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP say no police report was filed, adding that with no contact made with the offending driver, it’s hard to determine what caused that motorist to fail to keep right at that time.

“As always, we want to remind motorists to remain alert while travelling on the highway,” said the RCMP. “If it had not been for the quick actions of the driver, that could have resulted in a very serious collision.

“We want to remind motorists, if you are feeling tired or unable to remain attentive while driving, pull over or arrange for alternate transportation.”

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