VERNON - Fire crews are reminding people to be patient and stay back after someone sped through a fiery crash scene in Armstrong.
Armstrong/Spallumcheen Fire Chief Ian Cummings says while crews were responding to a two-car crash at McLeod Road and Highway 97A yesterday, May 5, someone hauling a trailer decided he just couldn’t wait.
“We had a guy that snuck past us at a fairly high rate of speed,” Cummings says. “He went around on the shoulder of the road. If we’d had a member walking around the side… Luckily the RCMP nabbed him and most likely ticketed him.”
Generally, he says people are respectful but there are, on occasion, people who don’t want to wait. In yesterday’s case, crews assisted three patients who had to be taken to hospital, and doused a fire that had started in one of the vehicles.
“Our guys are out there, their attention is focussed on the situation at hand, whether a rescue or a fire, they’re not able to keep an eye on traffic,” Cummings says.
Traffic on Highway 97A was brought to a standstill in both directions as a result of yesterday's crash.
“It’s easier for us to just shut the road down in its entirety. Then, as we get organized and get some flagging people out, we can open it. Initially, it’s just safer to close it down,” he says. “We just ask for patience. We’re doing everything in our power to get it going again as soon as possible.”
The Armstrong Fire Department was dispatched to another vehicle fire today, May 6, on Highway 97 by O’Keefe Ranch. A semi tractor hauling a couple of excavators caught fire on a back tire.
“When we got there, there was significant flame and smoke coming from it,” Cummings says.
The truck driver got out safely, but the flatbed railer was extensively damaged. Traffic was shut down in both directions for about ten minutes while crews attacked the fire.
A call to the North Okanagan RCMP has not yet been returned.
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