Ex-Comox council member recovering from burns caused by head-on collision

Former Comox councillor Gary Richardson was seriously injured in a highway collision but is recovering at a Vancouver burn treatment unit.

Former Comox councillor Gary Richardson was seriously injured in a Sept. 9 highway collision south of Nanaimo but is recovering at a Vancouver burn treatment unit.

Richardson was the lead driver of an RV convoy on its way to a campsite near Duncan. It appears his southbound motorhome collided head on with a car that had crossed the centre line on the Island Highway near the turnoff to the Duke Point Highway shortly after 11:15 a.m. The driver of the car — Ryan James Jackson, 20, of Nanaimo — died at the scene. It was not clear why he was driving on the wrong side of the highway.

“Gary was actually trapped in the vehicle for a bit of time,” Comox fire chief Gord Schreiner said this week.

Richardson’s travel companions used an extinguisher to put out a fire that had started in the engine compartment. They also pulled Richardson from the wreckage. He suffered burns to his legs and feet.

He is undergoing skin grafting in hospital.

To his understanding, Schreiner said Richardson will recover but with “some long-term issues.”

Richardson is a longtime Valley resident who served a couple of terms on Comox council. He also chaired the Comox Fire Protection District, an elected group that looks after Area B.

“He’s a super nice man and a good part of the community for many years,” Schreiner said.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com