A driver is facing charges after attempting to turn left in front of an oncoming vehicle and causing a collision that sent one person to the hospital and snarled traffic for several hours.
The crash occurred at the Tofino-Ucluelet junction around 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Sgt. Steve Mancini of the Ucluelet RCMP told the Westerly News that a southbound vehicle attempted to turn left towards Port Alberni and drove into the path of a northbound vehicle travelling towards Tofino from Ucluelet.
“As the vehicle was travelling northbound, the other vehicle turned left into its lane which caused it to, in essence, get ‘T-boned,’” Mancini said.
He said the driver that had attempted to turn left is facing charges of driving without due care and failing to produce registration.
The driver of the northbound vehicle was taken to the hospital via ambulance to be treated for minor injuries.
Mancini said alcohol was not a factor in the collision and noted that there was no evidence at the scene to suggest the northbound vehicle was travelling over the speed limit.
This was the second two-vehicle collision at the junction in the past three weeks as a similar incident between a northbound vehicle colliding with a vehicle turning left towards Port Alberni occurred on Aug. 23, also resulting in minor injuries.
Macini said the two incidents are isolated and collisions at the site are rare.
News of Tuesday’s crash circulated through social media, leading some commenters to speculate that the Ucluelet welcome sign located at the junction is causing visibility issues for southbound traffic.
Mancini said he does not believe the sign is a safety concern.
“I’ve driven past there numerous times and I’ve never noticed the sign to impede visibility,” he said. “I’ve never noticed that sign to be a distraction at all.”
Mancini reminds drivers to travel safely as the summer comes to an end.
“People have to be mindful of other drivers,” he said. “Take your time, don’t be in a rush, especially when the kids start getting back into school….As the kids start getting excited again about getting into school and seeing their friends, we want to make sure that drivers are paying attention to them and watching for them as they cross roadways.”