Two Vancouver Island RCMP Emergency Response Team (ERT) officers just happened to be in the right place at the right time, when on Tuesday January 19, 2021 they came upon a vehicle that was going northbound in the southbound lanes
of the Trans Canada Highway. The incident occurred in the area of The Eagle Quest Golf Centre, located approximately one kilometre south of the Morden Road and TCH intersection.
The officers were driving north along a stretch of the
highway that is divided by a meridian. Suddenly they noticed something that “just didn’t look right”. The officers could see to the left of them, the taillights of a vehicle that was driving parallel to them. The gravity of the situation
then kicked in- they realized the vehicle driving beside them was driving northbound in the southbound lane. The officers watched in horror as at least 8 vehicles took evasive action to avoid a head on collision with the wayward traveller.
officers immediately activated their emergency equipment and police siren and drove beside the vehicle for a short distance until such time they caught the attention of the driver. Their action worked as the vehicle was brought to rest next to the meridian
in the slow lane of the highway. The officers jumped out and over the meridian and began waving oncoming traffic away the vehicle. They then had the driver safely pull a U-turn and park the vehicle on the side of the road, but this time in the right direction!
One of the officers spoke with the 34-year-old woman driver and it soon became apparent why she was driving in the wrong direction. The officer quickly formed the opinion that she was impaired by alcohol. A Nanaimo RCMP officer attended
and took over the impaired driving investigation. He issued a breath demand and samples were provided roadside to which the driver failed. A passenger in the vehicle was also under the influence of alcohol so a safe and sober ride was arranged for the passenger.
Given the drivers significant state of impairment, she was held in custody overnight at the Nanaimo RCMP detachment, and released in the morning when sober. Her vehicle was seized and impounded, and she was issued with a 90-day driving
prohibition. She was also served with a violation ticket under the Motor Vehicle Act for Drive without Due Care.
“This was tragedy waiting to happen and was only diverted by the decisive actions and quick thinking ERT members.
Excellent work on their behalf,” said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP. Impaired driving continues to be on the one leading causes of death and collisions on our roads and highways. Don’t be selfish. If you drink do not drive.