Vernon is a hot spot for fatal car crashes in the Southern Interior - InfoNews

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Vernon is a hot spot for fatal car crashes in the Southern Interior

One of the 445 people who died on Southern Interior roads in the past five years was in this fatal crash on Highway 97 north of the Kelowna Airport in the summer of 2014.
August 04, 2020 - 6:00 AM

While Vernon is only the third largest city in the Southern Interior, its fatality rate in car crashes puts it in the number one spot for that dubious honour.

Vernon, with a population of about 40,000 in 2016, had 25 fatal car crashes between 2013 and 2017. That compares to 29 for Kamloops, which is more than twice its size (90,000) and 23 in Kelowna, which is three times its size (127,000), according to a new ICBC database that allows the public to view things like fatal crash statistics.

The database shows that, over a five-year period, a total of 445 people died from collisions in the Southern Interior out of 1,419 for all of B.C. It does not include crashes on some roads such as forest service roads, industrial roads or private driveways.

Out of the Southern Interior number, 297 were drivers, 91 were passengers, 46 pedestrians, eight cyclists and three listed as other.

But the real difference is when the data is sorted by gender, with 304 males dying compared to 141 women.

The most dangerous age group was 16- to 25-year-olds who accounted for 228 of the fatalities.

Almost 18 per cent of the deaths (79) happened in July and August.

Penticton recorded only 10 deaths but that was over four years as 2013 was not included. West Kelowna had six deaths over three years.

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