Columbia Avenue is really earning its nickname “million dollar alley” with five of eight car crashes last week occurring on Castlegar’s main road.
Castlegar RCMP Sgt. Laurel Mathew said people are still following each other too closely, causing collisions — sometimes several per day — on the busy street.
Mathew shook her head at one collision in particular, in which she said one driver was trying to “punish” the driver behind him as he felt he was being followed too closely. Mathew said the driver in front slammed on his brakes to prove his point and, sure enough, the close-following vehicle rear-ended him.
“We don’t recommend that,” Mathew said.
Another crash, which happened on the afternoon of June 29, saw traffic snarled as a GMC Suburban smashed into the back of a Nissan Sentra, taking the Sentra’s back bumper with it.
“It was quite an impact,” said Castlegar fire Chief Gerry Rempel. “There was substantial damage to the car.”
Castlegar RCMP Cpl. Dan Pollock said the driver of the Suburban was ticketed for following too closely, and aside from each driver complaining of a sore back, there were no major injuries.
“They were going to go on their own and get checked out (medically),” Pollock said.
Another crash occurred on Highway 22 near Minto Road — where Columbia Avenue ends and the highway begins — Pollock added.
In a separate incident, on the evening of July 2, multiple emergency services units responded to a single-motorcycle crash on Highway 3 between Castlegar and Christina Lake, approximately one kilometre west of the westbound brake check.
According to Const. John Rennie of West Kootenay Traffic Services, the driver failed to negotiate a left-hand curve and lost control.
The driver died at the scene and Rennie said speed may have been a factor.