Driver in critical condition after vehicle flips off ramp at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

One person is in critical condition after their vehicle crashed through a barrier and flipped off a loading ramp at the Tsawwassen ferry terminal, landing on its roof on the pavement 10 metres below.

It happened at around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday as vehicles were driving off the Coastal Renaissance ferry, which arrived at Tsawwassen from Duke Point in Nanaimo.

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The last vehicle to unload from the upper car deck accelerated rapidly and smashed through a concrete wall, said B.C. Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall. The vehicle fell about 10 metres to the lower holding compound of the terminal, landing on its roof, she said.

The lone occupant of the vehicle was conscious and Delta Police, Delta Fire and paramedics were called.

B.C. Emergency Health Services said it received a call at 12:31 p.m. about a “high-velocity impact” involving a vehicle. Several paramedics attended and one person was taken to hospital in critical condition.

A photo posted to Twitter shows an upside-down vehicle, surrounded by emergency crews.

The ferry moved to another berth and resumed operation, running about an hour behind schedule.

Marshall said an investigation is looking into the cause of the crash.

This is not the first time someone has been injured while loading or unloading at a ferry terminal.

In 2007, a man jumped from his pickup truck to the loading ramp when the Gabriola Island ferry pulled away from the dock with the vehicle on the ramp. The truck plunged into the water.

In 1992, three people died after their van rolled into the water when the Queen of New Westminster pulled out of the Departure Bay terminal in Nanaimo with the vehicle still on the ramp. Lorraine Askew and her daughters Tara-Leigh, 10, and Dawn, 14, died.

kderosa@timescolonist.com

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