(Saanich Fire Department photo)

Firefighters free workers trapped in freezer, after senior plows car through B.C. Walmart wall

Driver rammed through wall, 20 feet into Saanich store

Saanich firefighters had to free trapped staff at Walmart after a driver rammed through the wall of a lower parking area Friday afternoon.

Deputy Chief Dan Wood told Black Press Media around 4:30 p.m. that firefighters were working to free staff members who were stuck in a freezer at the Uptown store. He said the driver, the only occupant – drove through the concrete wall and 20 feet into the store before coming to a stop – pinning a freezer door closed.

Wood said the driver was not seriously injured but was taken to the hospital afterward. All staff were safely removed and not seriously injured.

Saanich Police Department cordoned off the area and the Walmart remained closed Friday night. Firefighters stabilized the vehicle and suspended the ceiling to await structural engineers.

Const. Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for the Saanich police, told Black Press Media the incident was initially reported as an explosion because the sound of the driver crashing through the wall was so loud. He noted that concrete parkade walls aren’t as strong as many might assume. Officers are investigating the cause of the crash and remained on scene for several hours.

The next morning, police confirmed that the driver was not an elderly woman as previously reported by first responders on scene. The department could not comment on the actual age or gender of the driver at this time.

READ ALSO: Owner of large, off-leash dog that fatally mauled small pup in Saanich park identified

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

 

Saanich Fire Department on the scene after a car crashed into the Walmart in Uptown. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich Fire Department on the scene after a car crashed into the Walmart in Uptown. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Staff gather outside the building at Walmart in Uptown the afternoon of April 9. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Staff gather outside the building at Walmart in Uptown the afternoon of April 9. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich Fire Department on the scene after a car crashed into the Walmart in Uptown. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich Fire Department on the scene after a car crashed into the Walmart in Uptown. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

(Saanich Fire Department photo)

Just Posted

Traffic is backed up along Naramata Road after a semi-truck collided with a power pole. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Semi takes out power pole north of Penticton

It is not currently known how many homes are impacted by the incident

New Border Bruins owner Dr. Mark Szynkaruk reps team colours with his young sons and wife Tracey. Photo courtesy of the Grand Forks Border Bruins
KIJHL’s Border Bruins sold to Grand Forks doctor

The league announced the sale Friday, May 14

Vikki and Don Holmberg with their three children Marshall, Ava and oldest Lexi who now lives on her own. The Penticton family is facing the prospect of homelessness after their rental home was sold, leading them to ask the community for help. (Contributed)
‘There’s just nothing’: housing crunch puts Penticton family on the brink of homelessness

Housing crisis something many in the city can likely relate to, says mother of three

(File photo)
Oliver crime watch program getting new vehicle through community grants

The crime watch program will now be able to better support the RCMP

Young Federico “Fred” Lenzi. (Raymond Lenzi/Contributed)
Italian moved to Okanagan with hope; he ended up being sent to a WWII internment camp

Raymond Lenzi shares his grandfather’s story ahead of Canada’s planned formal apology to Italian-Canadians

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Enderby’s Small Axe Roadhouse was the subject of nasty backlash after installing two busty beer towers. (Facebook)
Enderby bar’s busty beer taps to stay put despite backlash

‘Many folks have mansplained to us that we are sexist, misogynistic…’

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Police are at Ecole Mount Prevost Elementary but the students have been evacuated. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Gardener finds buried explosives, sparking evacuation of Cowichan school

Students removed from school in an ‘abundance of caution’

Vernon resident David Melanson, 21, left the South Hills Tertiary Psychiatric Centre in Brocklehurst at about 1 a.m. on May 12, the day he was reported missing. (Contributed)
Body of missing Vernon man found in Kamloops Lake

David Melanson, 21, left psychiatric centre around 1 a.m. the day he was reported missing

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Kelowna rain
Kelowna records driest March on record, spells summer trouble for Okanagan

In March, Kelowna received a total of 2.6 mm of precipitation, compared to the monthly average of almost 22 mm

Most Read