Icy roads add to spate of bad crashes in Surrey

Icy roads add to spate of bad crashes in Surrey

SURREY – Since midnight the Surrey RCMP has responded to more than 40 traffic crashes because of icy roads and drivers not being cautious.

At this time of writing – 9 a.m. Tuesday – police were dealing with nine crashes.

"None have reported any kind of serious injuries," Cpl. Bert Paquet said.

Trucks and cars have been hitting poles, ditches and going off road. "All kinds of impacts," Paquet said.

He attributed the crashes to a mix of icy roads and people driving too fast for the road conditions.

If the roads are icy, he said, call your boss and tell him or her you’ll be in a bit late on account of the black ice.

"Just be late," he said. "Be late, but be alive."

The RCMP issued a road warning early Tuesday morning. Insp. Tim Shields, regional duty officer, warned commuters to be "exceptionally care during the morning commute due to abnormal black ice conditions on side streets and some arterial roads.

"A high number of ice-related collisions have occurred this morning across the Lower Mainland," Shields said. "Drivers need to slow down and expect black ice and extremely slippery roads."

Besides the numerous icy road fender-benders, a 19-year-old Surrey man was killed on Saturday morning when a transit bus crashed with his black 1993 Honda Civic at the intersection of 84th Avenue and King George Blvd, at about 7:30 a.m.

Sgt. Warren Tyson said the Civic crossed into oncoming traffic and hit the bus head-on.

Police have put out a plea for witnesses to contact them, in particular a South Asian or First Nations woman who was a passenger on the bus but left before police interviewed her. She’s about 35 years old, and wore a dark jacket and hat.

Paquet said she might have been sitting near the front of the bus. "She remained on scene for a short time after the collision, then left without providing her details to the bus driver."

She boarded the 96 Newton bus – express bus, limited stops – at Surrey Central Station. Police are asking her to call the Surrey RCMP traffic section at 604-599-0502 and ask for Const. Mike Halskov.

Later Saturday, at about 11:30 a.m., a 75-year-old Surrey man was charged with driving without due care and attention after he smashed his 2002 Honda Civic into a dollar store at 15988 Fraser Highway.

“It appeared to be a case of pushing the wrong pedal, hitting accelerate instead of the brake,” Paquet said. “A lot of minor damage to the vehicle, but massive damage to the store.”

The storeowner’s right leg and a customer’s left leg were injured, Paquet said.

Police were called to a serious crash Monday evening that has also launched a drug investigation.

Paquet said a 1997 Toyota Camry crashed head-on with a 2009 Dodge Charger, at high speed, after it crossed the centre line while passing another car at 140th Street and 80th Avenue. The driver and passenger of the Charger were taken to hospital but no significant injuries were reported at the scene.

The Camry ended up crashing down an embankment into a creek. One of the occupants ran off with a head injury while a passenger was taken to hospital.

Police found a “fairly large” amount of cash, and some narcotics, in the Camry, Paquet said.