A Saanich girl was struck by a vehicle shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Ash Road and Torquay Drive.
The 11-year-old girl is in Grade 6 at Arbutus middle school and was hit by Mercedes sports utility vehicle travelling eastbound on Ash Road, while crossing Torquay Drive near the crosswalk. Saanich Police believe she was then hit by a late model sedan travelling westbound on Ash Road. Both cars remained on the scene.
The girl was hit coming out of her own driveway, in front of her house. It’s unknown if she was on the crosswalk or near it.
The girl’s grandfather, Andy Bue, said she was crossing the street to be picked up on the other side of Ash Road for a ride to school when she was struck.
She was rushed by ambulance to Victoria General Hospital in serious condition, according to Saanich Police acting Sgt. Jon Zielinski, who was at the scene.
“She was laying on the middle of the road,” Bue said. “She was unconscious, but breathing.”
As of 10:45 a.m. Ash Road remained closed from Majestic to Tyndall, and Torquay was also not accessible at Ash Road, while Saanich traffic analyst team investigated.
It’s unknown if speed was a factor.
“Roads were a little bit slick due to the cold weather but it was a bright clear morning. We’ll wait for these facts to be discovered,” Zielinski said.
As neighbours gathered to learn what had happened, they debated the safety of the intersection.
Bue said he believes Ash Road should be a four-way intersection. The speed limit is 50km/h on Ash Road, which does not have stop signs in the intersection with Torquay. Motorists do have a stop sign at Ash when approaching on Torquay.
Bue also said he had called Saanich to complain about one tall Arbutus tree in particular that leans over Ash Road and blocks the view to the entrance to the intersection when approaching eastbound.
“You can’t see the intersection because of the tree, and it’s on top of a hill,” said Bue, who lives in a house on the corner of the intersection.
Neighbour Susan Settle called it a bad intersection and said she’s wanted the large Arbutus trees that stand close to the intersection removed for years.
Another neighbour said he has asked Saanich to install a pedestrian controlled crossing light at the crosswalk.
The District of Saanich released a statement on Wednesday afternoon that the pedestrian crossing and intersection were already scheduled to be reviewed in January.
“A request to make improvements to the pedestrian crossing at the Ash Road and Torquay Drive intersection was recently brought to the attention of the municipality from the Gordon Head Residents Association,” said spokesperson Megan Catalano. “The intersection is scheduled to be reviewed at the Administrative Traffic Committee meeting in January. We will work closely with Saanich Police to incorporate the factors of [Wednesday’s crash] into our review of the intersection improvements.”
The Administrative Traffic Committee is an internal committee that includes senior members of the Saanich Police and Engineering departments and is responsible for reviewing traffic concerns in the municipality.