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No bad roads, only bad drivers say police after Hwy 33 hairpin accidents

The hairpin turn and its approaches on Hwy. 33 east of Kelowna have long been known to locals as the frequent scene of accidents.
February 03, 2015 - 5:05 PM

KELOWNA - A spate of accidents near the eight-mile hairpin turn on Highway 33 are more of a sign of bad driving than a dangerous road, say Kelowna RCMP.

The latest accident, where a Chevy Cruz fish-tailed into a logging truck, is the type of incident that could be avoided if drivers would follow the posted speed limits, says Const. Kris Clark.

“I wouldn’t say there has been any significant increase in crashes at that corner,” he said. "Yes this is a sharp corner but you have to drive to the signs and the conditions. If they aren’t ideal, you have to reduce speed accordingly.”

The eight-mile hairpin in Joe Rich, on the highway to Big White, has been the scene of many accidents over the years and is well known to locals. On January 23, a semi-trailer truck flipped into the ditch about a kilometre from the turn itself, hitting power lines and knocking out power to almost 500 nearby homes.

The Ministry of Transportation spent $195,000 in 2013 improving the signage on the hairpin curve and the approaches, installing illuminated LED curve arrows.

Clark said Monday’s accident resulted in both driver and a passenger being treated for minor injuries and was likely the result of the driver taking the turn too fast. “It was a bit slippery and he went around the curve too fast,” Clark added. “He was issued a ticket for failing to keep right.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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