Suspected drunk driver crashes into Kamloops Operation Red Nose vehicles

No serious injuries were reported after a speeding pickup truck crashed into the two vehicles on Highway 1

  • Jan. 2, 2020 12:46 p.m.

-Kamloops this Week

A New Year’s Eve highway crash involving an alleged drunk driver has left Operation Red Nose volunteers shaken and further underscoring the need for the annual safe-ride service.

Thankfully, no serious injuries were reported after a speeding pickup truck crashed into two vehicles being driven by Red Nose volunteers.

On Wednesday, Dec. 31, the final day on which the service operates during the Christmas season, a team of red-vested Operation Red Nose volunteers were dispatched to drive a trio of New Year’s Eve revellers home to Barnhartvale.

En route east via the Trans Canada Highway, however, plans for a safe ride home were unhinged by none other than an alleged drunk driver.

“It’s just unfortunate that people are still making that decision to drive impaired,” Operation Red Nose co-ordinator Katie Klassen told KTW. “We have these wonderful volunteers who are trying to stop that, stop people from being impaired and driving, you know, donating their time, late into the night, until 3:30 in the morning because they really want to keep Kamloops safe. It’s just unfortunate we had one person make a bad decision and it’s too bad that it was our volunteers and clients, who did make the right decision, it affected them.”

READ MORE: Early polar bear swim for elk at B.C. lake

Kamloops Fire Rescue platoon Capt. Darryl Cooper said the fire department was dispatched shortly before 11 p.m. to Grand Boulevard at Orchard’s Walk, where a black Dodge pickup truck had struck a blue Ford Focus car from behind. Cooper said firefighters were on scene until after midnight.

Klassen confirmed the Ford Focus that was struck was being driven by an Operation Red Nose volunteer, who was following the car carrying a Red Nose driver and navigator and the people they were driving home.

“They were going at really high speeds,” Klassen said of the driver of the pickup truck that slammed into the car. “Our escort driver was thinking that they were going to pass them. But they just came and hit our escort driver from behind at really high speeds, took her off the road, then continued on to hit our client’s vehicle.”

The vehicle carrying the Operation Red Nose driver, navigator and three clients was a Subaru Forester.

Although no serious injuries were sustained, Cooper said firefighters were forced to remove the driver’s-side door of the pickup truck to extract the driver.

“Everyone’s been checked over,” Klassen said. “Just more sore, shaken up, but nothing major.”

Klassen said in her decade working for Operation Red Nose, she has never seen such a crash involving volunteers. Neither the organization, not volunteers or clients will be liable, courtesy an ICBC insurance policy that covers costs associated with the damage.

Klassen also expressed gratitude for a group of teenagers in the area who jumped in to help.

Kamloops RCMP issued a statement, noting the driver of the pickup truck, a 24-year-old Kamloops man who sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the crash, refused to provide a breath sample, but was suspected of impaired driving.

READ MORE: Footage of brazen TV theft in Victoria-area parking lot goes viral

He was subsequently issued a 90-day immediate roadside prohibition and charged with driving without due care and attention under the provincial Motor Vehicle Act.

Cooper also noted a smell of alcohol was reported by KFR crews on scene.

Kamloops RCMP are asking witnesses to call the detachment at 250-828-3000.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lord Tweedsmuir tops Tamanawis in all-cat fight for Surrey RCMP Classic title

Panthers’ Jaeden Reid was named MVP at all-Surrey boys tournament

Surrey students donate 2,000 pairs of socks

Initiative part of the Leo Club program

Surrey hosts grand-opening ceremony of North Surrey arena complex

‘Accessible’ facility features three sheets of ice

Trade to hometown team a ‘blessing in disguise’ for Surrey Eagles defenceman

Kieran O’Hearn gets to play in front of family, who live just minutes from South Surrey Arena

White Rock solid waste open house scheduled

Event to take place next month

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

VIDEO: SPCA and RCMP remove several animals, including pig, at private animal rescue in Langley

Home at 5500 block of 216th Street has undergone multiple seizures over the past five years

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

Vancouver police probe second homicide in less than 24 hours

Woman was found dead in her Gastown home

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Most Read