Driver pulls over near Vernon after hearing funny noise, moments later car bursts into flames

Image Credit: iStockphoto.com

VERNON - A driver made a wise decision in the moments before his vehicle caught on fire on Highway 97 last night.

The incident shut down part of the highway for about half an hour, March 17, according to Coldstream fire chief Dave Sturgeon.

“The driver said the vehicle was acting up on Hospital Hill and started making funny noises,” Sturgeon says. “He pulled over because it was smoking and when he popped the hood that’s when the flames started.”

Roughly 15 firefighters rushed to the scene, about 500 metres past Okanagan College. The car was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived around 8:30 p.m. and could not be saved.

The fire department made the decision to close the southbound lanes while they battled the blaze for safety reasons, Sturgeon says.

“Our biggest frustration, and I can’t speak for others, but for our department, we try to keep the highway open but people just go way too fast,” Sturgeon says, adding traffic can endanger firefighters.

Given the driver’s account of what happened, Sturgeon is leaning towards a mechanical failure as the cause of the fire, but says ICBC has towed the car and will examine it.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infonews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

Editor's Note in response to allegations from Vernon RCMP Supt. Jim McNamara
Editor’s note: • Watch shifts at the Vernon detachment have fallen to as low as three roadable officers. • The department suffers from chronic understaffing. • Sources, who we trust and who have knowledge of the s

Top News