Emergency crews were called to an early-morning flood on Richmond Road caused by a damaged fire hydrant.
Saanich police officers and fire crews responded to the call after 8 a.m. on Saturday.
When crews arrived, they saw that a fire hydrant in the 3500-block of Richmond Road had been “sheered right off,” explained Platoon Capt. David Elder.
Police confirmed with witnesses that a driver had struck the hydrant and uprooted it before taking off, said Const. Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for the Saanich police.
Municipal staff were called to control the flood and firefighters worked to protect the nearby homes from the water that was gushing out of the hole where the hydrant once stood.
Witnesses gave police the driver’s license plate information and officers tracked down the owner of the vehicle.
It was determined that the registered owner hadn’t been driving but since no one admitted to the incident, they were issued a $360 ticket for fleeing the scene, Anastasiades said. The owner will also be responsible for covering the cost of repairs to the hydrant and any other damages.
Anastasiades emphasized that this incident is a good reminder for residents that the registered owner is responsible for the actions of anyone they let drive their vehicle.
The flood affected traffic but didn’t cause damage, Elder said, adding that the incident was reported quickly which helped reduce risks.
Water main floods can be a concern if there are electrical hazards nearby, Elder explained. He recommends reporting incidents like these by calling the local non-emergency line or 911 if there are immediate risks.
As the driver wasn’t found, police could not determine if drugs or alcohol were involved but based on the damage, Anastasiades assumes speed was a factor.