At least four people were sent to hospital following an accident on the Alberni Highway near Coombs Country Candy, Monday afternoon. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

UPDATE: Jaws of Life used to free two people trapped after collision near Coombs Country Candy

Emergency personnel responded to a multi-vehicle accident

Alan Boyd was minding a small fire in his backyard late Monday afternoon when he heard the crash of vehicles colliding on the Alberni Highway, which backs onto his yard.

Boyd called 911 as he ran to the scene of a three-vehicle collision in the westbound lane of the highway, just past Coombs Country Candy at the bottom of Highway 4 colloquially known as the Hump.

A camper van had rolled on top of a small passenger vehicle, trapping an elderly couple inside, Boyd said. A third vehicle, a pickup truck, was pulled over on the opposite side of the road.

“It (the van) spun right around and rolled and landed on the (small car) right there,” said Boyd, who assisted at the scene until emergency personnel arrived.

Boyd added that an off-duty paramedic had been in the Coombs Country Candy parking lot getting ready for a bike ride when the accident happened, and rode down to the scene to help out as well.

Port Alberni Fire Department crew members extricated two people from the small car using the Jaws of Life, said Cherry Creek Fire Dept. Chief Lucas Banton. Cherry Creek members were also on scene as there was fuel leaking from the vehicles.

Four people—including two from the camper van—were taken to West Coast General Hospital, Boyd said.

The condition of the patients is unknown.

Westbound traffic was diverted for a couple of hours down Old Nanaimo Highway as emergency crews worked on the scene.

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