Fatal accident raises more safety concerns for highway between Lake Country and Kelowna

Highways ministry in planning stages for installing safety meridians on deadly stretch of road between Kelowna and Lake Country

The District of Lake Country is renewing its call for safety meridians on the stretch of highway 97 between Lake Country and Kelowna after another fatal motor vehicle accident near Duck Lake on the weekend.

A 48-year-old woman died on Saturday after reports stated the SUV she was driving crossed the centre line and collided with a semi tractor trailer unit. The accident closed the highway for up top three hours as RCMP investigated.

The accident is the latest in a long and deadly history on the road between Lake Country and Kelowna, a four-lane stretch of heavily-driven highway.

And the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says they are in the planning process to move forward with safety improvements to the highway between Kelowna and Lake Country.

“We monitor our highways for safety and this is clearly an area that needs some attention,” said Murray Tekano, district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Highways. “We’re in the process of planning these improvements, identifying what can be done and how it can be done.”

According to witnesses, a southbound Volkswagen Tiguan crossed two lanes of traffic and impacted a northbound commercial vehicle that had been travelling in the outside lane.The force of the collision disintegrated the front end of the Volkswagen and caused extensive damages to the commercial truck. The female driver of the Volkswagen suffered extensive traumatic injuries and died in the crash. The two occupants of the commercial truck both suffered relatively minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

Police say road conditions were not a factor in the accident.

In September, Lake Country fire chief Steve Windsor reported that there was a substantial increase in traffic accidents between Lake Country and Kelowna this year and had sent a request to the Ministry of Transportation  asking about the possibility of safety meridians. At the UBCM meeting later that month in Whistler Lake Country officials reiterated the request for the safety barriers to be installed.

“We’ve been at them for sometime that they should have those barriers installed,” said Lake Country mayor James Baker. “It seems they are listening and we should start to see them at least design where they could put them. They have to look at how many accesses they will have to permit because in some places there are properties that need access to both directions.”

Tekano says public consultation will have to take place with residences and businesses that operate on the stretch of highway, with access the biggest issue. He estimates it would be late spring before consultation could take place.

Lake Country fire officials responded to the accident just before 2 p.m. Saturday and were on scene until about 5 p.m. when the highway was opened.

Windsor said the highway is known for the speed at which vehicles travel making accidents hard to avoid.

“It’s just a high speed highway and for whatever reason if you have inattention, you have very little time to correct it,” said Windsor. “At those kinds of speeds, it’s just a millisecond and if you drift at all you can be in the other lane very, very quickly.”

Windsor a substantial amount of diesel fuel was spilled in the accident but crews built a berm using sand to keep the fuel from running into Duck Lake.

Just Posted

JoeAnna’s House construction breaks ground in Kelowna

Moving forward on temporary housing facility for KGH out of town patient family members

Gold, silver, and bronze earned by Lake Country skating club in latest competition

The Central Okanagan skaters competed in the ISU International Adult Figure Skating Competition

Kelowna man named as one of Canada’s top 10 insurance brokers

Garrett Jones, with Valley First, was named in Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine

Kelowna Rockets hire former NHL defenceman as new head coach

Adam Foote named new head coach following the firing of Jason Smith earlier in week

‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

Watch it again: Kelowna mayoral candidates square off

Missing the LIVE Kelowna mayoral debate watch now

Canada announces $20M fund for women entrepreneurs

New federal program will provide up to $100,000 for female business owners to grow their operations

Vancouver Island man claims falling ice smashed his truck windshield

Man discovered volleyball-sized chunk ice on his truck Saturday, near Nanaimo, B.C.

B.C. veteran combats PTSD in the ring and on the farm

Cam Tetrault is a valuable contributor at Quesnel’s Two Rivers Boxing Club

B.C. vegan butcher to appear on Dragons’ Den

Victoria’s Very Good Butchers will star in Nov. 29 episode

Shuswap offers one-stop wellness for seniors

Salmon Arm centre for seniors with chronic conditions offers collaborate approach to health

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

Most Read