Truck slams into Saanich home

Family escapes injury, police seek driver who fled the scene

It’s a fear that has haunted Andrea Deman for the last 10 years. And early Thursday morning that fear became reality.

A truck careened down the embankment off of Ravine Way and crashed in Deman’s Nigel Avenue home.

“About 1:30 this morning I heard a loud bang and then the house shook and I heard a crash. I thought it was an earthquake,” said Deman, who lives in the home with her 15-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter.

The prospect of a vehicle coming off the busy roadway across from Saanich Plaza and striking her home below is something that has been a concern for Deman since she moved in 10 years ago.

“For the last 10 years, that’s what I’ve been worried about. But it’s never happened, accidents on the bridge and accidents at the light on the other side, but someone had never come over.”

The truck crashed into the the home just outside the dining room, completely destroying a small deck as it plunged down to driveway below.

“If he had gone that much over, just even a little bit, that’s my daughter’s bedroom,” she said, pointing to the room above where the truck had struck the home. “That whole side of the house would have crumbled. So we were lucky.”

Deman’s car was not so fortunate, as the truck took out a support beam which slammed into the 1991 Buick Sentry, totalling the car which is the family’s only means of transportation.

Deman and her son rushed outside after the crash but the driver had already fled, leaving only questions for the family.

“Was he drunk, was he stoned? What would cause somebody to do something like that?” she asked.

Police are still looking for the driver of the white 2015 GMC pickup that crashed over the embankment, spilling a large quantity of tools onto the ground below.

“We’re still trying to track down the registered owner and still trying to sort through the information that we have,” said Sgt. Steve Eassie with the Saanich Police.

He said a witness observed a male fleeing the scene and provided a description to police. A police dog was able to follow a track for some distance but was unsuccessful in locating a suspect.

“It could be that it is a stolen vehicle, it could be it’s not a stolen vehicle but the vehicle is full of stolen property, it could be the person is under the influence of drugs and alcohol … Then again it could be a combination of all of them,” said Eassie.

Shannon Harrison lives in the unit across from Deman’s. She heard the crash and looked out to see a truck sitting nose down outside her bedroom window.

“I thought for sure there would be somebody deceased in the vehicle, and I was shocked to find out that he had gotten out and took off,” said Harrison, who lives with her two sons, a 15-year-old and a four-year-old who slept through the whole incident. “I was thankful for that.”

She said having a vehicle crash into her home is something she’s wondered about since moving in three months ago. And while the incident resulted in a sleepless night for Harrison, she said it could have been far worse.

“I would hate to think what would have happened if that was during the day. Somebody would have definitely been injured or killed for sure.”

And the vision of a truck perched outside her home is one that will remain with Harrison and Deman for some time to come.

“For sure, it’s going to be something that’s going to stop me in my tracks every evening for a little while, just to make sure the kids are safe,” said Deman.

Police do not know if the driver was injured in the crash and are asking anyone with information on the incident to contact Saanich Police at 250-475-4321.

 

editor@saanichnews.com