A fatal crash on the Naramata Bench was the first major event in a day that Penticton Fire Department deputy chief Chris Forster is calling the busiest he’s seen in his 12-year career at the department.
The Penticton Fire Department confirmed that a crash at around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday resulted in the death of a motorcycle rider.
The collision sent the man to hospital with serious injuries, according to a release by the RCMP, but Forster confirmed later in the day that the man died of his injuries.
Few details are available on the victim or the crash, which involved a motorcycle and a truck at Upper Bench Road and Johnson Road.
But that was just the beginning of a long day for Penticton Fire, according to Forster.
“At one point, we only have two crews, and we had three MVAs at one given point. We basically had to have the police wait for us,” Forster said. “It’s random. This is the way it goes. … I don’t know what it is, I really don’t know what it is, but the last six to eight weeks have been literally the busiest since I’ve been here in 2005.”
He didn’t have any statistics to prove that, but he said he was positive the volume of calls coming through on Tuesday was the highest he’s seen since he started at the department.
“Today was literally the busiest day. Both halls going left, right and centre and having to wait and tell them, ‘no, they’re going to have to wait on that one,’” Forster said. “We’re literally back-to-back-to-back.”
He said he’s seen spurts of back-to-back calls, but noted that on Tuesday station two behind Superstore was out of their station between 9:45 a.m. and around 3 p.m.
“They’ve been jumping from one call to the other,” he said. “It’s been so busy the RCMP called for them to request their assistance at one call and phoned back to our dispatch 20 minutes later and said, ‘are they still coming?’”
There have been several MVAs, including the fatal crash on Johnson Road, followed almost immediately by a minor crash on Eckhardt Ave. between Main and Martin streets. A third call came in for a truck that got hung up on the guardrail next to the channel on the Channel Parkway.
The department responded to at least one more crash in the Penticton area, along with numerous first medical responses.