The BC Coroner Service has confirmed a pedestrian in his 70s has died as Cliffe Avenue in Courtenay remains closed for several hours Tuesday afternoon following an incident involving five vehicles.
Comox Valley RCMP spokesperson Rob Gardner said police received a call around 2 p.m. near the intersection of Cliffe Avenue and 26th Street.
He explained a car was in the northbound lane, struck a pedestrian, and then proceeded to hit two other vehicles near the intersection, and crashed into parked cars in a nearby parking lot.
“The scene is very extensive; the investigation is being helped by the North Island Traffic Analyst Team (who are aiding) with the investigation at this time.”
He added the pedestrian was taken to hospital, but is unsure of any arrests in the incident at this time.
The coroner was on scene around 3 p.m.
Witness Angie Schnepper, who works at the nearby Soup Pot restaurant, said she was inside the building when she heard a big crash.
“I heard a thud and a woman screaming. I came to run out because I heard people saying ‘call 911’ so then I proceeded to call. I saw the man face down – there were two pedestrians … (the woman) was his wife.”
She noted the couple were walking on the sidewalk when the man was struck, and his body came to rest in the middle of Cliffe Avenue.
A shoe and a pair of sunglasses could be seen by the entrance to the strip mall at 2760 Cliffe Ave.
“I was consoling the woman. She didn’t make any sense. She was speaking in Spanish and she was basically praying in Spanish – ‘please be okay, please be okay.’ It was pretty sad, especially to see something like that so close to home.”
DriveBC estimates the stretch of road between Mansfield Drive and 26th Street could be open at 5:30 p.m.