Some chalk marks on the pavement on the Old Island Highway north of Courtenay Friday morning were among the only signs of the fatal accident that happened there the previous evening.
About 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17, the Courtenay Fire Department was called to the accident near Kirby Road north of Courtenay. They sent a heavy rescue truck and an engine in the event they needed to suppress a fire.
Police and ambulance personnel also responded to the scene where a 2005 Nissan Altima sedan had collided with a three-ton Hino cube van.
“The driver of the sedan succumbed to his injuries,” said assistant fire chief Dennis Henderson of Courtenay Fire Department. “The driver … was the lone occupant.”
There were two people in the cube van. Police confirmed the driver and passenger were treated for minor injuries and taken to hospital, adding that the sedan driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
The highway was closed for several hours following the incident.
“I think it was opened shortly before midnight,” Henderson said.
There was a lengthy discussion on social media about the accident and potential causes, with some in the area reporting having heard a loud bang.
Insp. Mike Kurvers of the Comox Valley RCMP said a preliminary investigation indicates the sedan was heading southbound and lost control, probably drifting toward the shoulder, then turning the car suddenly to get back on the road.
“The vehicle started to veer and over-corrected, and then it started to spin,” he said. “You have no control after that point.”
The car struck the oncoming cube van that had been heading northbound. Both vehicles were write-offs, say police.
The detachment’s municipal traffic services division is continuing to investigate the case with assistance from North Island Traffic Services.
“It’s still under investigation,” Kurvers said.