A fatal accident closed traffic on the Old Island Highway (Highway 19A), between Courtenay and Campbell River, on Sunday afternoon.
An investigation is ongoing, but police think a U-turn might have been to blame.
A 79-year-old man was driving northbound in a Mazda 3 when he appears to have attempted the turn, said Sergeant Craig Blanchard, unit commander for the North Vancouver Island Traffic Services.
Following behind him in the northbound lane was a Dodge Ram pickup being driven by a 51-year-old man.
That truck appears to have struck the car sidelong, said Blanchard.
“He ended up getting T-boned by the Dodge,” said Blanchard, who added that a reconstruction analyst is preparing a report.
The vehicles careened into a ditch and one struck a hydro pole, bringing down the wires.
The elderly driver died in the accident, while the other man was transported to the Campbell River Hospital.
Blanchard said no charges have been laid and the survivor is cooperating with police. Drugs and alcohol don’t appear to have been a factor, he added.
The accident, which took place just north of the Black Creek Community Church, closed the highway in both directions along a four kilometre stretch from Endall Road to Hamm Road.
Drive BC reported on Twitter that the highway was clear shortly after 2 a.m. on Monday.