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Shirtless man who fled highway crash scene near Nanaimo arrested

Two SUVs rolled over in incident along the Trans-Canada Highway last week, one person injured
Nanaimo RCMP have issued additional information to a July 28 rollover accident south of Nanaimo. (Black Press Media files)

A man who allegedly fled shirtless from the scene of a rollover crash on the highway south of Nanaimo last week has been arrested.

In a press release, Nanaimo RCMP provided further information about an accident that occurred close to 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 28, on the Trans-Canada Highway between Nanaimo River and Morden roads and involved a Hyundai SUV and Volkswagen SUV.

“The driver of the Santa Fe, who was shirtless at the time, fled from the crash scene,” noted the press release. “With the assistance of police dog services and front-line officers, the suspect male was located and arrested a short distance away. Impairment and speed are being investigated as possible contributing factors to the collision.”

Fire departments from Cranberry and North Cedar also responded to the scene, as the Volkswagen caught fire.

At the time, Ron Gueulette, Cranberry fire chief, said there was high risk of fire spreading and it was difficult getting fire apparatus on scene due to traffic.

A female passenger in the Volkswagen was taken to hospital in serious condition, while the VW’s male driver was treated at the scene, said the press release. Their dog ran from the crash scene but was located by a Good Samaritan and taken care of.

“This was a very serious collision that occurred at a high rate of speed and resulted in significant injuries,” said Const. Simon Gallimore, Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson, in the release. “It is not an exaggeration to say that, without the prompt medical attention provided by B.C. paramedics to the victim, the outcome could have been much worse.”

Nanaimo RCMP is asking anyone who witnessed the incident or has dashcam video to call the detachment’s non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, quoting file No. 2022-25978.

RELATED: SUV rolls over, catches fire on highway south of Nanaimo

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