Three people are dead following a head-on collision on Highway 19 near the Alberni Highway exit Sunday.
Central Island Traffic Services Sgt. Joe Schofield said the two-vehicle crash happened at 4:30 p.m. by exit 51 when a vehicle heading north left the highway, crossed the grass median and onto the southbound lane.
The vehicle slammed head-on into a southbound vehicle occupied by a driver and a passenger, both of whom were pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the northbound vehicle was rushed to hospital in Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, but succumbed to injuries sustained in the crash and was also pronounced dead.
Dead areMichael David Anderson, 39, of Duncan and his 12-year-old daughter Marissa Jade Bridge of Comox.
The name of the driver of the southbound vehicle has not been released, in accordance with the wishes of the family.
Traffic was temporarily detoured off the highway, while collision investigators worked at the scene late into the evening. The highway is now clear for travel in both directions.
Schofield said police as yet have no theory to explain why the vehicle crossed the median and said Central Vancouver Island Traffic Services (CVITS) will lead this investigation.
“We are still looking into that and pulling things together,” he said. “Any witnesses who saw the collision are being asked to give us a call at the Parksville detachment at 250-248-6111 and get hold of Central Island Traffic Services.