Talk about being in the right place at the right time.
On Tuesday January 19th, two Vancouver Island RCMP Emergency Response Team (ERT) officers were travelling on the Trans Canada Highway when they spotted a vehicle travelling in the wrong direction on the highway.
According to a media release from Nanaimo RCMP, the officers came upon a vehicle that was driving northbound in the southbound lanes, about one kilometre south of the Morden Road and TCH intersection.
The officers were driving north along a stretch of the highway that is divided by a meridian.
Suddenly they noticed something that “just didn’t look right”.
“The officers could see to the left of them, the taillights of a vehicle that was driving parallel to them. The gravity of the situation then kicked in – they realized the vehicle driving beside them was driving northbound in the southbound lane,” the media release read.
The officers watched in horror as at least 8 vehicles took evasive action to avoid a head on collision with the wayward traveller.
The officers activated their emergency equipment and police siren and drove beside the vehicle for a short distance until such time they caught the attention of the driver.
The vehicle eventually came to a stop next to the meridian in the slow lane of the highway.
The officers jumped out of their vehicle and over the meridian and began waving oncoming traffic away from the vehicle.
They then had the driver safely pull a U-turn and park the vehicle on the side of the road, but this time in the right direction.
As the officer spoke to the 34-year-old driver, they soon realized she was impaired by alcohol.
A Nanaimo RCMP officer attended and conducted a breathalyzer test in which the driver failed.
The passenger in the vehicle was also under the influence of alcohol, so a safe and sober ride was arranged for the them.
Given the drivers significant state of impairment, she was held in custody overnight until she sobered up, according to Nanaimo RCMP.
The vehicle was seized and impounded, and the driver was issued a 90-day driving prohibition. She was also served with a violation ticket under the Motor Vehicle Act for Drive without Due Care.
“This was tragedy waiting to happen and was only diverted by the decisive actions and quick thinking ERT members. Excellent work on their behalf,” said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.