A serious motor vehicle incident on Mission Hill in Courtenay closed the Island Highway for several hours and sent two people to hospital via air ambulance. Photo by Terry Farrell

VIDEO: Two people airlifted to hospital after car hits tree on Highway 19A

Car was seen weaving through traffic before clipping another vehicle and losing control

A serious motor vehicle incident on Mission Hill in Courtenay closed the Island Highway for several hours and sent two people to hospital via air ambulance.

Sgt. Brian Nightingale, RCMP collision reconstructionist, told CTV Vancouver Island that a 2017 silver Toyota sedan was travelling northbound on Highway 19A at a high rate of speed, weaving through traffic, when it clipped another vehicle, swerved across the highway and hit a tree.

“The vehicle was seen going in and out of traffic, trying to get past all the cars going up the hill,” said Nightingale. “At one point he made a lane change and clipped another vehicle, which caused him to go out of control, and … he ended up striking a tree on the left side of the highway.”

The extrication process at the scene of the accident was arduous.

“The vehicle went into the tree after rotating about 45 degrees,” said Nightingale. “It was the driver that was actually pinned for the long period. It was almost an hour before they got him out.”

The male driver and female passenger were both taken by ambulance to a makeshift helipad at the overflow parking area between Superstore and the Washington Inn Apartments, where they were transferred into separate air ambulances for transport to hospital.

Condition of the patients is unknown.

“Quite serious,” said Nightingale. “I don’t know the prognosis, but there [are] serious injuries to both people. I believe the driver is the more seriously injured. He was unconscious the entire time at the scene.”

Comox Valley RCMP is interested in hearing from any witnesses to the incident.

The vehicle had an N designation affixed to the rear.

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