(Twitter/WestShoreCasey)

Vancouver Island firefighters involved in crash that closed highway

Officials say the driver suffered a medical emergency that led to the crash

Three Vancouver Island firefighters were involved in Thursday’s crash on the Trans Canada Highway in Saanich that closed the highway and delayed traffic during rush hour.

The accident occurred shortly before 5 p.m. as the three firefighters — Comox Fire Rescue assistant fire chief Jim Lariviere, captain Corey Brooks, and Hornby Island fire chief Doug Chinnery — returned from a conference in Victoria.

Dashcam footage of the event showed the truck violently swerve across two lanes before striking the concrete barrier that separates oncoming traffic, causing the vehicle to flip onto its side.

On Friday morning, Comox fire chief Gord Schreiner said the cause of the medical emergency is still undetermined.

“They left Victoria around 4 pm and not too long later, the driver — who happened to be Corey — had a medical issue of some sort,” said Schreiner.

“We’re not sure what it was but it caused him to blackout. He lost control of the vehicle, it bounced off a few things and rolled over.”

READ MORE: Vehicle rollover closed Trans Canada Highway in Victoria

Schreiner said Lariviere and Chinnery were transported to Victoria General Hospital after the crash, where they were assessed and released the same day. Brooks was kept overnight for physical testing at Royal Jubilee and is expected to be released this morning.

Schreiner said none of the three were physically injured.

Brooks has been with Comox Fire Rescue since 1995. According to the department’s website, he spent 13 years as a paid-on-call member before becoming a full-time member in 2008.

Schreiner estimated Brooks is in his 40s and said it was surprising he would suffer a medical emergency.

“Corey is a very fit individual and works out pretty much seven days a week,” said Schreiner. “Real high-end athlete, very competitive, very fit. It was very surprising for him.

“You probably wouldn’t find a more athletic or fit person, so we’re not exactly sure what’s going on. We just hope it’s not too serious.”

Schreiner said Comox firefighters are subject to regular medical assessments and nothing has indicated issues with Brooks before.

“…nothing has ever shown up in his screening we’ve done,” he said. “It was a bit of an unusual event. Whether it was something he ate… He’s not a drinker. It’s strange, could have been a heart episode.”

The crash resulted in the highway being closed in both directions between Helmcken Road and McKenzie Avenue, forcing gridlocked drivers to wait in long lineups or find alternate routes to the West Shore.

Though Schreiner hasn’t seen the vehicle except for photos, he believes the Comox fire vehicle involved in the crash is most likely a write-off.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

Federal government commits $9.1 million toward UVic Indigenous Law building

Contribution supports Canada’s first Canada’s first Indigenous Law program

Soul Shakers kick off free outdoor concerts in Oak Bay

Music fills the air at Willows Beach Park for series of concerts this summer

PRIDE on the Barge caps off last Friday of Pride Month

Starting at 5 p.m. with music from Rocksteady

National HIV Testing Day comes to the West Shore

17.1 per cent increase in new HIV infections in Canada between 2014 and 2017

VIDEO: Tributes flow on 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death

Jackson received a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. He died at age 50

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Sandwiches and mascara could mean driving fines

RCMP say if you cause an accident well eating you could be penalized

Delta cat severely injured in animal trap was likely stuck for days, owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Most Read