By CASTANET STAFF
RCMP and the B.C. Coroners Service are investigating a fatal collision Wednesday evening, Sept. 28, in West Kelowna.
At 10:37 p.m., emergency personnel responded to a single-vehicle collision in the northbound lanes of Highway 97 South near Gorman’s Mill.
RCMP say preliminary findings at the scene suggest a blue Ford F150 pickup truck left the roadway into the ditch where it collided with a rock face, before it continued down the roadway and came to rest in the centre median of the highway.
“Witnesses at the scene reported that the pickup truck caught fire after leaving the roadway,” said Const. Jesse O’Donaghey. “A blaze that was extinguished by employees of the nearby Gorman’s Mill who were quick to respond to the scene.”
O’Donaghey says the driver of the pickup, who may not have been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, was ejected from the vehicle.
He was found to be suffering from serious injuries and rushed to hospital in critical condition where he later succumbed to those injuries.
"The driver has been identified by investigators as a 24-year-old West Kelowna man. However, his name will not be released at this time," added O'Donaghey.
The motorcycle on the scene last night was not involved in the crash. It was the bike of a nurse on his way to work who pulled over the moment he saw the crash and rushed to the man's aid.
He was the first medical personnel on scene and was heartbroken this morning to learn of the man's death.
He told Castanet he was disappointed that several cars in front of him didn't pull over to aid the man after witnessing the accident as well.
The highway was closed in both directions for a period of time last night and this morning to allow a member of the RCMP Integrated Collision Analyst and Reconstruction Services (ICARS) to conduct a detailed analysis of the scene.
The West Kelowna RCMP along with the ICARS continue to assist the coroner in the investigation.
If you witnessed this crash and have not yet spoken to police you are asked to contact the West Kelowna RCMP at 250-768-2880.