A pedestrian is recovering from minor injuries after he was struck by a vehicle while leaving Save-On-Foods in Port Alberni on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021.
First responders were called to the grocery store on 10th Avenue at 11:45 a.m. after receiving a report that someone had been hit. Port Alberni Fire Department responders were on scene providing medical assessment when the RCMP arrived. The pedestrian, whom officials have not named, was transported to hospital for further assessment.
The driver remained on scene and cooperated with investigators, according to Sgt. Peter Dionne, operational support NCO for Port Alberni RCMP. Witnesses also stayed to give their statements.
The parking lot was busy and it was raining heavily at the time, which is believed to have contributed to the incident, Dionne noted. The driver received a violation ticket under the Motor Vehicle Act.
This incident underscores the importance of driver and pedestrian awareness of the increased risk of collision during darker days and reduced visibility due to weather, Dionne said.
“Parking lots are a higher risk location for collisions due to the increased density of vehicles and pedestrians. Drivers need to ensure their windows are clear and proceed cautiously, pedestrians need to be aware of vehicles moving near them, make eye contact with drivers before crossing their paths and ensure they are seen.”
Another pedestrian was hit just days later on Saturday, Nov. 13 at Third Avenue and Bute Street. This intersection was the site of a pedestrian fatality back in 2019.
The Alberni Valley had three high-profile pedestrian incidents in the first three months of 2021, including two deaths. There have also been a number of incidents over the past few years that prompted the City of Port Alberni to look into safety at infamous intersections in the city.
A report commissioned by the city and produced by McElhanney Ltd. identified the top 15 intersections and recommended safety improvements.