‘Graphic reminder’ for careless motorists

SURREY – Three pedestrian crashes in Surrey in less than 24 hours has Surrey Mounties shaking their heads.


"The last 24 hours are a very graphic reminder that motorists and pedestrians alike need to be more aware," said Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet. "Road safety is a shared responsibility."


Two of the crashes resulted in serious injuries. Two young Surrey women are in serious condition in Royal Columbian Hospital after a pickup truck hit them, throwing them 15 metres, as they were walking in a crosswalk in the 12200-block of 96th Avenue at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Police are looking at speed as a factor.


Sgt. Dale Carr said a grey Ford F150 had stopped at the crosswalk for the pedestrians, in the curb lane, but a black Dodge Ram heading in the same direction in the next lane didn’t and hit the women, ages 20 and 19. The driver remained at the scene of the crash.


It was the second serious pedestrian crash in Surrey in roughly 12 hours. A 66-year-old woman is fighting for her life after a speeding Mercedes driven by a teenaged girl slammed into her as she was walking her dog along King George Boulevard in South Surrey late Monday night.


Witnesses told police the grey SUV tried to pass another car on the right shoulder when it hit an illegally parked car, crashed into a lamp post and then hit the woman and her German Shepherd, killing the dog.


Paquet said the woman was "believed to be on the sidewalk but our collision reconstructionists are working to confirm that." She was thrown into some bushes.


An air ambulance flew the victim to hospital, where she is listed in critical condition with extensive injuries.


The driver, a 17-year-old Surrey girl, was arrested and is under investigation for dangerous driving causing bodily harm.


"We’re looking into whether drugs or alcohol were a contributing factor," Paquet said.


A witness account posted on YouTube estimates the Mercedes was doing up to 130 kilometres an hour as the road was merging from two lanes into one.


"My son even made a comment ‘What idiots,’ because they swerved


past my car," the witness recounted.


He said he saw a "big dust ball from the grit" on the side of the road, pulled over and told his son to phone for paramedics.


"I had a gut feeling that it was extremely bad from the


speed at which they were doing."


Paquet said there were six people in the Mercedes, including the driver. As a new driver, she wasn’t supposed to have that many passengers.


The witness said he saw


"three young females and one gentleman" climb out of the Mercedes, "very, very disoriented."


"They said the driver’s ran off."


The witness said they tried to run off but he, and other witnesses who had by now arrived at the scene, stopped them.


Paquet said the driver "didn’t leave. We’re not investigating the driver for failing to remain at the scene."


The third crash happened at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, at 140th Street and 85th Avenue in Newton. Two Surrey men, ages 19 and 48, were crossing at a crosswalk when a Pontiac Sunfire driven by a 65-year-old Surrey man turned left into the crosswalk. The younger man jumped out of the way but the older man was hit, sustaining relatively minor injuries. Police said the driver claimed the sun was in his eyes.


The three crashes are still under investigation and police ask any witnesses who have not yet spoken with them to contact the Surrey RCMP at 606-599-0502.



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