(Twitter/WestShoreCasey)

Vancouver Island firefighters involved in crash that closed highway

Officials say the driver suffered a medical emergency that led to the crash

Three Vancouver Island firefighters were involved in Thursday’s crash on the Trans Canada Highway in Saanich that closed the highway and delayed traffic during rush hour.

The accident occurred shortly before 5 p.m. as the three firefighters — Comox Fire Rescue assistant fire chief Jim Lariviere, captain Corey Brooks, and Hornby Island fire chief Doug Chinnery — returned from a conference in Victoria.

Dashcam footage of the event showed the truck violently swerve across two lanes before striking the concrete barrier that separates oncoming traffic, causing the vehicle to flip onto its side.

On Friday morning, Comox fire chief Gord Schreiner said the cause of the medical emergency is still undetermined.

“They left Victoria around 4 pm and not too long later, the driver — who happened to be Corey — had a medical issue of some sort,” said Schreiner.

“We’re not sure what it was but it caused him to blackout. He lost control of the vehicle, it bounced off a few things and rolled over.”

READ MORE: Vehicle rollover closed Trans Canada Highway in Victoria

Schreiner said Lariviere and Chinnery were transported to Victoria General Hospital after the crash, where they were assessed and released the same day. Brooks was kept overnight for physical testing at Royal Jubilee and is expected to be released this morning.

Schreiner said none of the three were physically injured.

Brooks has been with Comox Fire Rescue since 1995. According to the department’s website, he spent 13 years as a paid-on-call member before becoming a full-time member in 2008.

Schreiner estimated Brooks is in his 40s and said it was surprising he would suffer a medical emergency.

“Corey is a very fit individual and works out pretty much seven days a week,” said Schreiner. “Real high-end athlete, very competitive, very fit. It was very surprising for him.

“You probably wouldn’t find a more athletic or fit person, so we’re not exactly sure what’s going on. We just hope it’s not too serious.”

Schreiner said Comox firefighters are subject to regular medical assessments and nothing has indicated issues with Brooks before.

“…nothing has ever shown up in his screening we’ve done,” he said. “It was a bit of an unusual event. Whether it was something he ate… He’s not a drinker. It’s strange, could have been a heart episode.”

The crash resulted in the highway being closed in both directions between Helmcken Road and McKenzie Avenue, forcing gridlocked drivers to wait in long lineups or find alternate routes to the West Shore.

Though Schreiner hasn’t seen the vehicle except for photos, he believes the Comox fire vehicle involved in the crash is most likely a write-off.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Sooke trade show targets local business

Sookrama planned for April

Added webcams give drivers more views of Malahat and highway to Sooke

Five new DriveBC webcams installed in high traffic locations on Vancouver Island

Four Grizzlies crack NHL’s central scouting list for 2019

Newhook, Campbell, Bucheler and Berger earn NHL notice

Legend of Victoria dog ‘Cody’ lives on with successful pet drive

Charmaine’s furniture store collecting donations for Victoria Pet Food Bank

Royals test unbeaten streak on Hockey for Hospitals night

Marty and the Victoria Royals host Hockey for Hospitals night on Feb. 2

Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay voted into Baseball Hall of Fame

M’s legend Edgar Martinez, Rivera, Mussina also make the grade

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

POLL: Do you support a speculation tax on vacant homes in Greater Victoria?

Homeowners have begun to receive letters asking if they should be exempt… Continue reading

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Most Read