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‘Lucky to have survived’: Pair hospitalized after car flies off Hwy 97 near UBCO

Police have revealed details about the late-night crash that has closed the southbound lanes of Hwy 97 for several hours.

According to the RCMP, it involved a single vehicle that fled police before flying off the roadway and crashing near UBC Okanagan.

Both the driver and passenger were transported to Kelowna General Hospital with serious injuries, but are fortunately in stable condition.

The incident started minutes before midnight, when an officer on patrol saw a black Mercedes travelling well under the posted speed limit and unable to stay in its lane.

When the officer tried to pull the car over as it was heading southbound on Hwy 97 near Duck Lake, the driver allegedly fled at a “dangerously high rate of speed.”

“For officer and public safety, no pursuit was initiated and the officer pulled over,” explained an RCMP release.

After losing sight of the car, the officer continued southbound on Hwy 97 until they came across a large dust cloud at the John Hindle Drive off ramp at UBCO.

“The officer observed debris on the roadway and immediately realized that the car had departed the roadway,” the release noted.

The Mercedes that had fled police just minutes earlier was found in a ditch, “a significant distance from the highway,” and both occupants were in serious medical distress.

According to the RCMP, the passenger was ejected from the vehicle and the driver was trapped inside and needed assistance to escape the heavily-damaged Mercedes.

Both were rushed to hospital and the highway was shut down for investigative purposes, and it remains shuttered at the time of writing this story.

“This collision is a prime example of the dangers of excessive speeding on British Columbia roadways,” said Cst. Mike Della-Paolera. “These two individuals are extremely lucky to have survived and have a long, difficult recovery ahead.”

Anyone who witnessed this crash, or has relevant video footage that could help investigators, is urged to contact the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300.



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