Early morning traffic accidents resulted in delays on Highway 97 near Kaleden on Wednesday.
RCMP attended a serious head-on collision involving a late model Ford truck and Chevrolet mini van which forced the closure of the highway for almost an hour. Emergency personnel on scene treated and transported both of the drivers to Penticton Regional Hospital for what turned out to be non-life threatening injuries sustained in the collision.
RCMP said the south bound Ford truck, driven by a 45-year-old Penticton man, lost control on the icy roadway. It crossed the centreline and struck the northbound mini van driven by a 50-year-old Okanagan Falls resident. Both of the vehicles were demolished said Cpl. Ted Manchulenko.
At the same time as that accident, a 47-year-old Penticton man lost control of his mini van on the icy road just south of the Highway 3A interchange. Manchulenko said fortunately no oncoming traffic was struck as the van crossed the centreline rolled over an embankment and through a cattle fence. The male driver was not injured in the incident, his vehicle sustained heavy damage.
During the road closure to investigate the events of the first collision, a 66-year-old Tulameen man was located “grossly intoxicated” driving his vehicle. The man was subsequently the subject of an impaired driving investigation in which RCMP said he failed the roadside breathalyzer. The man had his vehicle seized and was returned to Penticton jail cells due to the severity of his intoxication said Manchulenko.
RCMP remind drivers to ensure their vehicle is well equipped for winter conditions, leave early, be prepared for delays and poor conditions, reduce your speed, drive defensively and don’t drink and drive.
“Posted speed limits are for ideal conditions, and are not mandatory to be reached if conditions do not warrant that speed,” said Manchulenko.