Suspected drunk driver crashes into Kamloops Operation Red Nose vehicles

No serious injuries were reported after a speeding pickup truck crashed into the two vehicles on Highway 1

  • Jan. 2, 2020 12:46 p.m.

-Kamloops this Week

A New Year’s Eve highway crash involving an alleged drunk driver has left Operation Red Nose volunteers shaken and further underscoring the need for the annual safe-ride service.

Thankfully, no serious injuries were reported after a speeding pickup truck crashed into two vehicles being driven by Red Nose volunteers.

On Wednesday, Dec. 31, the final day on which the service operates during the Christmas season, a team of red-vested Operation Red Nose volunteers were dispatched to drive a trio of New Year’s Eve revellers home to Barnhartvale.

En route east via the Trans Canada Highway, however, plans for a safe ride home were unhinged by none other than an alleged drunk driver.

“It’s just unfortunate that people are still making that decision to drive impaired,” Operation Red Nose co-ordinator Katie Klassen told KTW. “We have these wonderful volunteers who are trying to stop that, stop people from being impaired and driving, you know, donating their time, late into the night, until 3:30 in the morning because they really want to keep Kamloops safe. It’s just unfortunate we had one person make a bad decision and it’s too bad that it was our volunteers and clients, who did make the right decision, it affected them.”

READ MORE: Early polar bear swim for elk at B.C. lake

Kamloops Fire Rescue platoon Capt. Darryl Cooper said the fire department was dispatched shortly before 11 p.m. to Grand Boulevard at Orchard’s Walk, where a black Dodge pickup truck had struck a blue Ford Focus car from behind. Cooper said firefighters were on scene until after midnight.

Klassen confirmed the Ford Focus that was struck was being driven by an Operation Red Nose volunteer, who was following the car carrying a Red Nose driver and navigator and the people they were driving home.

“They were going at really high speeds,” Klassen said of the driver of the pickup truck that slammed into the car. “Our escort driver was thinking that they were going to pass them. But they just came and hit our escort driver from behind at really high speeds, took her off the road, then continued on to hit our client’s vehicle.”

The vehicle carrying the Operation Red Nose driver, navigator and three clients was a Subaru Forester.

Although no serious injuries were sustained, Cooper said firefighters were forced to remove the driver’s-side door of the pickup truck to extract the driver.

“Everyone’s been checked over,” Klassen said. “Just more sore, shaken up, but nothing major.”

Klassen said in her decade working for Operation Red Nose, she has never seen such a crash involving volunteers. Neither the organization, not volunteers or clients will be liable, courtesy an ICBC insurance policy that covers costs associated with the damage.

Klassen also expressed gratitude for a group of teenagers in the area who jumped in to help.

Kamloops RCMP issued a statement, noting the driver of the pickup truck, a 24-year-old Kamloops man who sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the crash, refused to provide a breath sample, but was suspected of impaired driving.

READ MORE: Footage of brazen TV theft in Victoria-area parking lot goes viral

He was subsequently issued a 90-day immediate roadside prohibition and charged with driving without due care and attention under the provincial Motor Vehicle Act.

Cooper also noted a smell of alcohol was reported by KFR crews on scene.

Kamloops RCMP are asking witnesses to call the detachment at 250-828-3000.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into Northern Sentinel office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Indigenous LNG supporters chide human rights advocates over pipeline comments

Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with 20 elected First Nation councils along the pipeline’s 670-kilometre path

Expect delays between Terrace and Prince Rupert on Highway 16

Avalanche control work is planned between Legaic Rd and Frank St. for 136.8 km

Victoria police arrest 12 anti-pipeline protesters supporting Wet’suwet’en

‘We are unarmed, they have guns,’ protesters chanted on Wednesday morning

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

Harry and Meghan should cover their own security costs: NDP heritage critic

The prince, Meghan Markle and their eight-month-old son Archie are reportedly staying at a mansion near Victoria

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

B.C.’s first ride-hailing app to launch in Tofino, Whistler in February

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

Most Read