Driver in Walmart crash believed to be having a mental health crisis: police

A man in his 20s going through a mental health crisis was driving the vehicle that smashed through a parking garage wall at Uptown shopping centre last week.

Police officers, firefighters and ambulance paramedics rushed to the shopping centre late Friday afternoon for reports of an explosion and possible building collapse.

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When they arrived, they found a vehicle had gone through a thin concrete wall on the parkade’s upper level and fallen through the ceiling, trapping three Walmart workers in a store cooler. Walmart was closed until Tuesday morning.

Saanich Fire crews rescued the people trapped inside, and the driver was also safely removed from his vehicle.

“We can confirm that the driver was a man in his early 20s who we believe was experiencing a mental health crisis leading up to and at the time of the collision,” Saanich police Const. Markus Anastasiades said Tuesday.

“The driver was taken to the hospital to receive medical care and treatment. It’s remarkable that physical injuries to all involved were non-life-threatening.”

Police are continuing to investigate.

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