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RV's plunge down embankment stopped by tree

Saanich police said the driver’s injuries were minor, but would have been much worse if not for the tree.
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An RV went over an embankment about 10:30 a.m. Friday in the 1400-block of Charlton Road, near Prospect Lake Road. VIA SAANICH POLICE

A suspected impaired driver drove his RV over a steep embankment Friday morning, but his fall was blocked by a tree.

The 54-year-old was the lone occupant in the RV when it went over the embankment about 10:30 a.m. in the 1400-block of Charlton Road, near Francis/King Regional Park.

Saanich police said the driver’s injuries were minor, but would have been much worse if not for the tree.

The driver failed a roadside sobriety test at the scene and was issued an immediate 90-day driving prohibition.

Police said the RV required a “careful retrieval” by a towing company and has been impounded for 30 days.

Const. Markus Anastasiades said the incident comes as police prepare for another weekend of ramped-up holiday-season road checks for impaired drivers.

Five impaired drivers were nabbed last weekend, the start of the holiday campaign.

“Unfortunately we continue to see impaired drivers at all times during the day,” Anastasisdes said. “Clearly impaired driving is still happening.”

People need to plan ahead for a safe way home if they are going to be drinking, he said.

West Shore RCMP reported that Thursday night road checks caught two drivers with no insurance, two drivers with no driver’s licence and one driver who was trying to avoid being stopped.

ICBC road-safety co-ordinator Colleen Woodger said it’s “kind of shocking” that some people still aren’t getting the message about impaired driving.

Impaired drivers endanger not only themselves “but everybody else on the road,” Woodger said.

“There’s other alternatives to drinking and driving — taxi, transit, ride share, have a designated driver.”

jbell@timescolonist.com