Nanaimo RCMP say 911 operators received several reports of a woman running into traffic in the moments before a woman was struck and critically injured on the Island Highway on Thursday morning.
The incident happened at about 5:30 a.m. on Jan. 25 on the northbound lanes of Highway 1 between the Duke Point overpass and the Nanaimo Parkway and Cedar Road interchange.
According to Nanaimo RCMP, upwards of six 911 calls were received moments before the collision from motorists reporting a woman, dressed in dark clothing, running into traffic and that motorists had to take evasive action to avoid hitting her. Investigators determined from descriptions provided that the victim was the same woman reported by the callers.
Police said the pedestrian is a Nanaimo woman in her 40s and investigators are in the process of attempting to notify her next of kin. The woman was taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital where she remains in critical condition.
The driver of the vehicle remained on scene and is co-operating with investigators.
The investigation is in its preliminary stages, but investigators have been able to rule out drugs and alcohol as contributing factors for the driver, who is a Nanaimo man in his late 60s. The victim’s clothing, time of day, weather and her behaviour prior to the collision are all considered to be factors that contributed to the accident.
“The investigation’s continuing,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “We can only imagine what the diver must have gone through. Very horrendous experince and [RCMP Victim Services] have offered support for him.”
Northbound traffic was reduced to a single-lane from the Duke Point overpass to the interchange at Cedar Road and the northbound Nanaimo Parkway access lanes were also closed while RCMP collision analysts investigated the crash scene.