(File photo)

Port Alberni RCMP are investigating a single-vehicle collision which left one man deceased and three others injured on Monday night.

On October 24th, at around 1:15 a.m, officers responded to a single-vehicle collision on Central South Main forest service road near Frederick Lake and Centre Main Connector.

RCMP have said that early indications suggest that the motorist, who was travelling with four occupants, struck a tree when taking a right turn off the roadway.

Motorists travelling the road observed the collision, called emergency services and assisted with first aid.

By the time paramedics arrived, one man was deceased. His next of kin have been notified.

A female passenger was airlifted to Victoria General hospital with potentially serious injuries, and a child and the driver were also transported to hospital.

RCMP are currently investigating the incident, saying that road conditions, inclement weather and limited communication at this remote location posed challenges to the response.

Investigators do not believe alcohol is a factor.

Notorious Stretch of Road

The road to Bamfield has seen a number of fatal crashes, including a bus crash in 2019 that resulted in the deaths of two University of Victoria students.

Following the accident that claimed the lives of students Emma Machado and John Geerdes, UVic commissioned a report from consultant Ross Cloutier.

Cloutier’s report contained 43 recommendations, including guidance for future field trips, such as:

  • The University should ensure that all future trips to the Bamfield Marine Sciences School (BMSC) travel and arrive during daylight hours
  • The University should require the collection of emergency contact information for each student
  • Exploring options for alternatives to charter bus transportation for students, and look into a “pilot car” program for transport from Port Alberni to BMSC
  • The University should review its communication protocols for BMSC field schools and provide telephone technology when possible.

The report also noted that first-person research should be conducted about telephone access on Bamfield Main road. Safety concerns around phone access on remote parts of Vancouver Island have been raised before by First Nations and rural communities.

Highway improvements were announced by the province in September 2020, with a combined $30 million in funding from the provincial government and the Huu-ay-aht First Nation.

The long-awaited safety improvement project officially kicked off last week and is expect to take place over the year.

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