Saanich Police continue to investigate the cause of a collision Sunday morning that sent a 21-year-old Victoria man to hospital and rattled residents of an apartment building in the Gorge Road region.
The man was behind the wheel of the 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse that collided with a tree outside the apartment building at 76 Gorge Road West Sunday morning at around 2:20 a.m. Two other men — a 23-year-old-man from Vancouver and a 21 year-old-man of unknown address — were with the driver during the incident, whose causes remain under investigation.
Acting Sgt. Jereme Leslie said it is early to tell whether Saanich Police will lay charges against the driver.
This car crashed into a tree in front of 76 Gorge Rd W at about 220 am this morn. Three people inside. More to come. pic.twitter.com/E4pRV8jciA— Victoria News (@VictoriaNews) September 10, 2017
“It’ll be some time, usually several months, before the crash analyst team can collect [and] interpret all the available data,” said Leslie. “After they review it all and author a detailed report, then that info goes back to the investigator. The investigator will then make the assessment whether charges are warranted [and] would meet the charge approval threshold.”
While few details about the course of the collision are available, it caused considerable commotion among the residents living in the apartment building. Some thought that they were living through an earthquake, only to learn that the vehicle had collided with a tree.
“I heard a really loud noise and it shook a bit,” said Mary Warner, whose balcony looks right onto the crash scene from above. She was one of a number of people to call 911 after the impact. “I knew something happened.”
As morning dawned and people began rising for the day, the mangled vehicle sat in the car park under the building near an entry door. A tree service crew was clearing away the debris from the tree and the adjacent utility pole, said to contain only phone and wifi services, was hanging almost over the sidewalk.
Witnesses describe the aftermath of the incident as chaotic.
“There was another car and there were people screaming and the tree was down. I had no under idea that a car was under there,” Warner said, describing what she saw immediately after the crash.
Warner said she was worried due a strange smell coming from the area below her balcony.
“One of the reasons I was really scared was that I didn’t know if the car was going to catch on fire or something and it’s right below us. I didn’t know if we needed to evacuate or anything.”
Emergency crews quickly arrived at the scene and closed down between Gorge Road between Wascana Road and Harriet Road for several hours.
Leslie said the two passengers did not suffer any injuries.