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Luck and defensive driving prevent tragedy after alleged drunk driver wreaks havoc on highway

A staggering amount of both luck and good management prevented serious tragedy on a local highway yesterday, according to RCMP Sgt. Laurel Mathew.

“On Dec. 26 at approximately 5:10 pm, emergency responders were called to a multi-vehicle accident on Hwy 3A near Tarrys Road involving several vehicles, including a car that apparently was driving with no head lights on,” Mathew said in a press release issued this afternoon.

“Police investigation and witness accounts revealed that a car had pulled out southbound onto the highway from Tarrys Road without stopping. A pick-up truck travelling south on the highway attempted to avoid being struck by the car, but was struck on the rear passenger side.

“The driver of the truck stopped, but the driver of the car kept going. A short distance later, the car was travelling in the oncoming lane, and a vehicle that was driving northbound was forced to drive into the ditch to avoid being struck. Another pick-up truck, that was also driving northbound, wasn't able to avoid the collision but swerved to try to get out of the way and the car clipped his rear wheel and fender. The offending car drove approximately another 100 metres before his badly-damaged and leaking vehicle came to a stop in the oncoming lane. 

“Although there was extensive damage caused to some vehicles, there were no serious injuries sustained by anyone in this event.”

She said a 49-year-old Tarrys man was arrested on scene and is facing several charges including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, impaired driving, refusing to provide a breath sample, and failing to remain at the scene of an accident. He is scheduled for his first court appearance in March 2018.

“Thankfully, people were paying attention. This could have been a great deal worse,” Mathew said. “And it’s so lucky it happened where it did – there were ditches, instead of cliffs.

“And everyone stopped and was very helpful, which was great.”