Operator of West Kelowna designated driver service still in ICU following crash - InfoNews

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Operator of West Kelowna designated driver service still in ICU following crash

RCMP
June 17, 2019 - 5:00 PM

KELOWNA - The owner of a West Kelowna designated driver service who was seriously injured June 14 when a semi-truck smashed into the SUV he was in, has yet to learn the full extent of the crash.

“Gil is in ICU but he’s out of the danger,” said Suzette March, a close family friend of Gil, the owner of Gal’s Designated Driver service.

He still has bleeding in the brain, broken legs, broken vertebrae and other untold damage. He also has gaps in his understanding of what happened. 

“He knows he was in an accident and that he was working,” March said. “He’s kind of in and out of consciousness and does have swelling of the brain.”

The crash occurred just before 2 a.m. June 14 on Highway 97, at the intersection with Bartley Road, just a block and a half from Gil’s home.

RCMP said first responders arrived on scene to find a passenger vehicle heavily damaged, after being seemingly struck from behind by a commercial transport truck and trailer unit.

“Sadly, the driver of the white Hyundai Tucson was pronounced deceased at the scene,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey of the Kelowna RCMP.

The driver of the semi tractor trailer unit remained at the scene and co-operated with the police investigation.

March said the service uses two drivers. One to drive a person home, another to make sure their car makes it home with them.

She first realized that Gil could have been hurt when she read the news the next morning.

“It’s been tragic and one of those things, you never think it will happen to anyone you know,” she said.

It’s ironic, she said, that a service that’s kept so many people safe over the years was affected.

“He been operating the designated driver service for six years and the business does so well," said March. "It’s heartbreaking to see this happen... being hit by a semi truck at a red light is the last thing you would think.”

It’s also going to be very hard to overcome the financial damage. Gil is a business owner, so there is no employment insurance for the time he’s out of work. Compounding the issue is that his wife recently got the diagnosis that the lung cancer she’d fought for years had returned.

“We wanted to do what we could to help, so we’re trying to raise $10,000,” said March, pointing to the GoFundMe account her mom Angie Alcorn started.

So far they’ve raised almost $5,546.

If you witnessed this crash and have not yet spoken to police you are asked to call RCMP Central Okanagan Traffic Services at 250-491-5354.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2019
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