Calls for median on Highway 97A in North Okanagan after another fatal crash - InfoNews

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Calls for median on Highway 97A in North Okanagan after another fatal crash

Highway 97A between Vernon and Armstrong.
Image Credit: Google Street View
December 02, 2019 - 4:50 PM

A fatal car crash that took place south of Armstrong yesterday is a sad reminder for a North Okanagan woman who lost a loved one on the same stretch of road earlier this year.

Jessica Tabe told iNFOnews.ca she was saddened to hear the news of a fatal crash yesterday, Dec. 1, and questioned why a median has not been built on the four-lane highway where her grandmother was killed in February.

"It makes no sense why is someone having to deal with this," Tabe said. "Why is someone else having to bury their (love one)... why do people have to go through this, when it's preventable."

Her grandmother, Ruth Blencoe was killed in a head-on collision on the stretch of Highway 97A between Vernon and Armstrong Feb. 22. Blencoe was well known for her work in the community and the Ruth Blencoe Memorial Award has since been set up in her honour.

The RCMP confirmed one person died in a two-person collision on Highway 97A near Eagle Rock Road south of Armstrong yesterday.

Tabe launched an online petition asking for a median to be built on the four-lane stretch of road between Armstrong and Vernon where the speed limit is 100 km/h.

She said there's no reason why a four-lane road which is wide enough to accommodate a median should not have one.

"If there was a median there, people's lives would have been saved," Tabe said. "If it can be prevented it just doesn't make sense to keep having people go through (the grief)."

Tabe said her grandfather had spoken to local Liberal MLA Eric Foster several times about a median being build on the highway.

Foster told iNFOnews.ca he'd pushed for a median to be built on the highway and that the Ministry of Transportation had since conducted a feasibility study.

He said the report's recommendation was to build a median on the highway. He said he would follow-up with the province regarding the issue and would like to see something built "as soon as possible."

The highway did receive significant upgrades in 2011 when the B.C. Liberal Party was in power. Foster couldn't say why a median was not built as part of the upgrades then.

Tabe also doesn't see why it takes so long to implement when it could save lives.

"Are we just numbers? Or do we matter? Do we have a say?" she said.

The Ministry of Transportation was not immediately available for comment.

To see Tabe's Change.org petition go here.


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