A 71-year-old pedestrian is dead following a multi-vehicle collision Tuesday afternoon on Cliffe Avenue in Courtenay.
Comox Valley RCMP Const. 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.”
The male pedestrian was rushed to hospital, along with the drivers of two other vehicles stopped at the intersection of Cliffe Avenue and 26th Street.
As a result, Cliffe Avenue was closed for approximately three hours.
Police noted the 46-year-old female driver of a Nissan SUV is facing potential charges including Impaired Operation of a Motor Vehicle Causing Death.
She was released from custody on a Promise to Appear in court at a later date.
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.”
The Comox Valley RCMP Municipal Traffic Section, Comox Valley RCMP General Investigation Section, and the Integrated Collision and Reconstruction Services continue to assist the BC Coroners Service in the investigation.