Police Briefs: Drivers swerve to avoid deer on roads; Car drives into Gorge

Police remind drivers minimal visibility in winter as deer caused a pair of significant collisions in Saanich last week.

Saanich Police are reminding drivers to be diligent of waning daylight hours after a pair of deer collisions in Saanich last week.

A pair of serious collisions due to deer on Oct. 18, are part of a small increase in collisions involving deer.

In the first incident, the driver of a late ‘90s Chevy Malibu was travelling on the Pat Bay Highway, just north of Sayward Road, a deer came onto the road. The driver swerved to avoid the deer, and drove through a fence belonging to a nearby residence. The driver suffered from a sore neck and jaw, though the situation could have been much worse. In the second incident, the driver of an early 2000s Suzuki struck a deer on Oldfield Road. The deer was resting in the roadside but had left the scene by the time Saanich Police arrived. Nonetheless, the vehicle sustained damage over $1,000. The sole occupant of the vehicle was uninjured and able to drive away the scene.

“Saanich is a rural area with a lot of deer, collisions happen on a semi-regular basis, and with two highways running through Saanich, it’s going to create more collisions,” said Saanich Const. Damian Kowalewich.

The number of deer in Saanich is very high and the current loss of daylight, combined with the darker, rainy days is causing a constellation of events that results in added deer incidents.

Kowalewich said most deer collisions are reported, particularly as the animals tend to cause a lot of damage to vehicles.

“Motorists should take extra caution and decrease speeds if able, especially at this time of year.”

 

Car splashes into Gorge Waterway

Saanich Police are continuing to investigate an alleged car race that ended with one car submerged in about five feet of water in the Gorge Waterway on Oct. 15.

Witnesses told CHEK News they heard a loud bang at about 10 p.m. that Saturday night. The headlights of the car remained on while submerged, as the driver made her way to safety. Another car was allegedly speeding, possibly in a race, and is part of the investigation underway by the Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit.

“A young woman was the single occupant and put a car into the Gorge Waterway,” Kowalewich confirmed. “The female made her way to shore, actually swam to shore.”

Saanich Police contacted the Ministry of Environment as there was a small amount of oil released from the car, though it’s believed to have a minimal environmental impact.

Speed is suspected to be a factor.

The Saanich Police dive team, using a tow truck winch, recovered the car from the Gorge the same night. The car entered the Gorge through an opening and managed not to run into the fencing that lines Gorge Park.