Falling Malahat mystery rock shocks Saanich driver

Bouncing rock smashes into the car on Malahat

The mystery of a falling rock that struck Brian Preston’s car has since bemused the Gordon Head resident.

Preston and his family were driving the family minivan northbound through a construction zone on the Malahat on the way to Mount Washington on Feb. 8 when the rock bounced off the road and lodged into the front of the car.

In a rudimentary assessment of the area the rock came from, Preston deduced it wasn’t a high enough hill for a rock to come tumbling down with enough force to behave the way it did.

“The rock fell with quite a force as it bounced up off the highway, up into the air, and came back down before lodging into the headlight,” Preston said. “You don’t often see a rock that size bounce like that.”

Preston and his family were in ‘shock’ and drove about a half mile to the Malalat Inn before pulling over. That was really the first safe place to do so, he said. He registered the incident with the RCMP Shawnigan Lake detachment and the family carried on.

The rock is about the size of a softball and looks to be a sedimentary type of conglomerate with smaller rocks embedded in it.

“It could easily have killed somebody if it bounced a bit higher on the car,” Preston said.

His initial though is it might have come from a blast.

“I contacted Emil Anderson Construction and explained it as a piece of concrete, and they told me there is no concrete at the site,” Preston said.

The Ministry of Transportation said any blasting along the Malahat safety improvement project generally occurs daily between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. However, the highway is fully closed during the blasts to ensure safety, so a passing vehicle could not be hit by flying rock related to blasting activity.

Preston calls it a mystery because there was no oncoming trucks or cars at the time the rock came bouncing at them. He didn’t initially believe it was the work of mischief, as it happened in a construction zone, but he’s now open to any reasonable explanation.

Regardless, Preston is left wondering if it was in fact a result of some ill timed or intended mischief, or if it was a construction mishap.

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