Four hurt in Shawnigan rollover, ice coffee spill blamed

Four teenagers on their way from Victoria to enjoy the warm waters of Shawnigan Lake Monday afternoon were injured when their car rolled down an embankment.

The rollover took place on Shawnigan Lake Road near Sooke Lake Road just after noon, said RCMP Sgt. Kevin Hopkinson. Two young women, the driver and a passenger, received serious injuries and were airlifted to Victoria General Hospital. Two young men received minor injuries and were also transported to hospital by ambulance. All four were age 19.

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Hopkinson said the driver of a 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit became distracted when she spilled an iced cappuccino on herself.

“The car veered to the right and caught the curb. The wheels hit the gravel. The driver reacted, steered back on the road but unfortunately overcorrected. Then the car swayed back and forth on the road,” said Hopkinson.

The driver lost control, crossed the centre line and veered into the other lane of traffic, eventually hitting a ditch and rolling down the embankment, where the vehicle became pinned against two trees.

The driver and young men were conscious at the scene. The other young woman was unconscious and firefighters had to use a hydraulic rescue tool to free her from the car. She remains in critical condition at Victoria General Hospital with a severe concussion, but is expected to recover, said Hopkinson.

It’s unlikely charges will be laid, said Hopkinson.

“It was just an unfortunate incident that occurred,” said Hopkinson. “Everyone drinks coffee in their car.”

All four were wearing seatbelts, said Hopkinson, who believes the driver’s seatbelt saved her life.

“It’s just a good reminder for drivers to understand that no matter what you are doing in a vehicle, any distraction can be deadly.”

Shawnigan Lake Road was shut down for about 45 minutes for air ambulance and B.C. ambulance crews.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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