The individual killed in a head-on collision on Highway 22 Tuesday has been identified as a 46-year-old woman from Trail.
RCMP have not released the woman’s name, but put out a release Friday morning that gave the ages and hometowns of those involved in the incident.
For the first time, RCMP also gave a brief account of what happened:
“On June 13, 2017 at 3:20 p.m. the Trail and Greater District RCMP received a report of a head-on collision on Highway 22 near Genelle, B.C. Upon attending the location, investigators determined that a northbound 2010 grey Toyota Yaris crossed the center line over into the southbound lanes and struck a southbound 2002 red Subaru Impreza.
“The grey Toyota was being driven by a 26-year-old Fruitvale man, who was accompanied by a 46-year-old woman from Trail. The female passenger was critically injured and later succumbed to her injuries. A 72-year-old female from Trail was the lone occupant of the southbound red Subaru and sustained serious injuries as well.”
Sgt. Chad Badry of West Kootenay Traffic Services said Thursday that the RCMP and BC Coroners Office are investigating the incident, but he wasn’t able to share much information at that time.
“We’re just in the early stages,” he said.
West Kootenay Traffic Services handles the investigation of serious crashes, especially those where there are fatalities. Investigations generally involve taking statements, scene examination with a reconstructionist, mechanical inspections of the vehicles and gathering any available electronic information, such as that from an airbag control module, from the vehicles.
What happens from there depends on what the investigation uncovers.
“If there’s evidence sufficient for some kind of criminal offense, we’d recommend charges to Crown Counsel. If it’s lesser, we could also issue a violation ticket. If there isn’t sufficient evidence then nothing happens,” said Badry.
So far this year, there have now been five fatal crashes in the area.
“We responded with five members from Trail and one member from Genelle to a two-car, head-on MVI,” explained Dan Derby, regional fire chief for Kootenay Boundary Fire Rescue. “There were three people that were extricated from the vehicles and they were all transferred to Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital.
Firefighters used hydraulic extrication tools — which included the Jaws of Life — to extricate the three individuals.
Highway 22 was closed in both directions near the China Creek Road exit for about 40 minutes during the emergency response.
Asked what advice he had for local drivers, Sgt. Badry was unable to comment as it might imply what had happened in this incident, but he was able to share something that happened while he and his fellow officers were investigating the crash site.
“While we were doing the investigation at the scene of the crash yesterday, there was another driver who drove through the cones that we had set up and ended up getting stopped and was found to be without a driver’s license and under the influence of drugs,” Badry said Thursday morning. “He was issued a 24-hour driving prohibition for being impaired by drugs and documentation related to his driver’s license status. He came very close to hitting one of the police officers.”