Vancouver Island woman dead after car smacks elk on Lake Cowichan highway

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP were called to the scene at about 8 p.m. Tuesday night

Elk stroll along Johel Road in Lake Cowichan. (Kristy Convery file photo)

A woman from Lake Cowichan has died and two other people are in serious condition after a two-vehicle crash involving elk on Highway 18 Tuesday night.

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP were called to the scene at about 8 p.m. They determined that two vehicles travelling in opposite directions were involved. One of the vehicles attempted to avoid hitting an elk on the road, but hit it anyway, then hit an oncoming vehicle. A woman from Lake Cowichan was declared dead at the scene, and one man and one woman were airlifted to hospital in life-threatening condition.

“This is a very tragic situation,” said Sgt. Trevor Busch of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP. “Collisions with animals are not uncommon. I would like to remind motorists to drive defensively, slow down and leave plenty of distance from the next vehicle to allow the best chance to see wildlife.”

The BC Coroners Service is in the early stages of its fact-finding investigation. The BC Coroners Service investigates all sudden, unexpected and/or unnatural deaths in the province to determine who died, how, where, when and by what means. Investigators from the North Cowichan/Duncan General Investigation Section and Island District Traffic Services Collision Reconstructionist have spoken with witnesses to the crash and are continuing to investigate.

This wasn’t the only crash involving an elk in recent days.

This morning, Nov. 20, at 7 a.m. a second crash was reported with an elk near Lake Cowichan on Highway 18. In this incident the driver of the car was able to walk away with minor injuries.

“This incident is a reminder that collisions with wildlife can happen at any time,” said Corporal Dave Motley of the Lake Cowichan RCMP. “I would urge motorists to drive according to conditions and be extra vigilant in foggy or dark conditions at dawn or dusk when wildlife is most active.”

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