Did you ever think the metric system could cause an accident? It did in Lake Cowichan's Meade Creek area last Saturday.
The result was a wrecked pickup truck in the weeds, a power pole that needed to be replaced, 1,045 people in Youbou and Meade Creek left without power for several hours, and a new driver with an experience he'll never forget.
Sgt. Wes Olsen of the Lake Cowichan RCMP said a pickup truck had lost control and went off the road and struck a power pole at 5:25 p.m. on Saturday, May 24.
It was witnessed by another motorist and police were called immediately.
"We were on the scene pretty quickly. There were two males in the vehicle. They had minor injuries. There was no indication that alcohol was involved," he said.
"But speed is a factor. One of the gentlemen was teaching the other how to drive. By the looks of it, that was probably a vehicle that was brought up from the States and the speedometer was in miles-per-hour versus kilometres-per-hour.
"So instead of doing the posted 80 kilometres per hour, the gentleman was doing close to 80 miles per hour and when he realized same, he panicked. And, being a novice driver, when he panicked, he lost control and that's how the vehicle ended up in the ditch," the sergeant said, adding, "They were very lucky, actually. The vehicle is pretty well a total write-off."
The cab was the only part that wasn't mangled.
"There were only minor injuries involved. According to the notes, it appears they were taken to Cowichan District Hospital for examination but there were no major injuries," Olsen said.
Power was out in Meade Creek and Youbou from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. because B.C. Hydro had to bring out a replacement power pole and install it.