South Okanagan fire chief asks drivers to slow down following dangerous day on the roads

Kaleden Fire Chief Denis Gaudry is asking motorists to slow down for emergency personnel and driving conditions following a harrowing day attending numerous motor vehicle incidents on Highway 97 and Highway 3A south of Penticton yesterday, Dec. 20, 2017.
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PENTICTON - A South Okanagan fire chief is appealing to the public to slow down for road conditions and emergency vehicles after attending several accidents yesterday.

Kaleden Fire Chief Denis Gaudry says the department spent a busy day, Dec. 20, responding to four motor vehicle incidents due to extremely slippery conditions following Tuesday’s major snowfall.

“The roads, especially at the intersection of Highway 3A and Highway 97 are really, really slippery,” Gaudry says. Most of the incidents involved vehicles sliding into the ditch because of road conditions.

Gaudry says some drivers were going way to fast past accident scenes, calling it really concerning and worrisome for first responders.

“People still seem to be in a hurry. When they see the lights, traffic cones and signs, they just aren’t slowing down,” he says.

The dangers faced by fire department members and professional flaggers are very real. Isabelle Burroughs, 66, a professional flagger with 37 years experience, sustained fatal injuries when she was hit by a car on Nov.17 while flagging on Highway 6 near Vernon.

“We just want people to understand, when we’re out there on the road, we’re responding to people in need, so just slow down a bit and respect the law regarding emergency vehicles on the highway,” Gaudry says.


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