Qualicum Beach man dies in crash near Courtenay

Police say road conditions — there was no evidence related to speed or alcohol/drugs — were a contributing factor

David William Vanderhorst, 30, of Qualicum Beach is dead after an accident Monday morning on Inland Highway near the Trent River crossing, B.C. Coroners Service regional coroner Matt Brown confirmed Thursday morning.

“The male driver and only occupant was killed instantly upon impact,” states a news release issued by North Vancouver Island Traffic Services.

Sgt. Mark Whitworth says police were called to the scene south of the Comox Valley Parkway at approximately 9 a.m.

According to the news release, the investigation revealed the driver of a Mazda pick up truck lost control of his vehicle as he was traveling northbound, skidded across the median and struck a southbound semi trailer.

The driver of the semi trailer is a 61-year-old male, who did not sustain any physical injuries but police say he was “distraught.”

Police say the driver of the semi “made every effort to avoid the crash by moving toward the right shoulder.”

Whitworth said initial reports suggest weather may have been a factor in the accident.

“There was some ice build-up on the shoulder,” he said, adding witnesses also reported slippery road conditions and icy sections.

Inland Highway from the Cumberland interchange to Cook Creek was closed in both directions as investigators and a coroner examined the scene and the pickup, located in the ditch.

Whitworth said the highway was closed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Drugs and alcohol are not suspected as contributing factors in the collision.

Prior to the crash, there were three accidents within a short period of time along the highway.

There were also numerous vehicles reported in the ditch alongside the highway.

Inspections of both vehicles are being conducted and police, including the collision re-constructionist, along with the B.C. Coroners Service continue to investigate the accident.

No charges are being considered at this time.

— With files from Erin Haluschak/Comox Valley Record

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