An eight-year-old girl was severely injured and airlifted to hospital after being hit by a vehicle while walking with her family on Highway 19A Monday.
The incident happened at 1:45 p.m. as the family, visiting friends in the area from their home in Burnaby, paused while walking over the bridge spanning the Big Qualicum River.
The girl reportedly slipped off a curb and was hit on her head by the mirror on a passing truck.
Members of the Bow Horn Bay Fire Department, paramedics and the Oceanside RCMP raced to the scene and transported the injured girl — who had stopped breathing — to a nearby campsite, where a helicopter was able to land and transport her to Vancouver Children’s Hospital.
Bow Horn Bay Fire Department Chief Steven Anderosov said the family had stopped to look at birds in the bay when the girl slipped.
“They were just putting her in the ambulance when I got there,” he said. “The vehicle driver and the girl’s parents and grandparents were there. From what I gathered there were five of them on the bridge. They were looking at some swans that were in the bay and she just stepped back too far.”
Anderosov noted there are no guard rails on the bridge walkway. He said there was little the driver of the pickup truck could do to avoid the collision.
“It was extremely close to being a fall right in front of it,” he said. “A couple more inches and she would have been right in front of it.”
Neither speed nor alcohol are believed to have been factors in the incident and no charges are expected to be laid. The name of the victim has not been released.
The RCMP are continuing their investigation of the crash.