Traffic is backed up on the Malahat due to a vehicle incident. (Kevin Rothbauer/Black Press)

Traffic is backed up on the Malahat due to a vehicle incident. (Kevin Rothbauer/Black Press)

Car accident on the Malahat leaves 1 dead and 2 in critical condition

Alcohol being investigated as a factor

Alcohol is being investigated as a factor in a fatal crash that closed the Malahat early Saturday afternoon.

The B.C. Coroners office confirmed one person is dead after a two-vehicle head-on collision on the Trans-Canada Highway. West Shore RCMP, Malahat Fire Rescue and B.C. Ambulance Service responded to the collision near Aspen Road shortly after 1 p.m.

The male driver of a southbound minivan was pronounced dead at the scene, and his female passenger was taken to hospital with serious injuries. The female driver of the northbound vehicle was also transported to hospital with injuries.

“The Coroner attended the collision scene and notification of next of kin is being completed with the family,” said Cpl. Chris Dovell. “Alcohol is believed to be a factor in this fatal collision and police investigators are gathering evidence as to the level of impairment of the female driver and any driving evidence observed by witnesses.”

Traffic was stopped in both directions north of Aspen Road for nearly an hour, but reopened to single lane traffic in both directions while the West Shore RCMP’s traffic unit and a South Island Traffic Services Collision analyst conducted their investigation.

lindsey.horsting@goldstreamgazette.com

malahatWest Shore