North Vancouver RCMP say they have a person of interest and are investigating after the driver of a BMW wound up partially submerged in Lynn Creek.
Passersby noticed the early 2000s BMW X5 in the creek under the Highway 1 bridge Sunday morning (March 20). By the time crews arrived, the driver was long gone.
According to police, it appears the driver was westbound on the new Mountain Highway on-ramp/collector lane approaching Lynn Creek when they veered off the road and into the ditch between the on-ramp and Highway 1.
“It went down between those two and launched down the bank, went across the walking path. It went through a fence and then launched again, went down another 25 feet or so into the river,” said acting assistant fire chief Kit Little. “It was quite a ride.”
North Vancouver RCMP Sgt. Peter DeVries said investigators are still trying to figure what happened in the moments leading up to the crash.
Officers found a person of interest with minor injuries at a nearby bus stop about two hours after the wreck was discovered. They were taken to hospital and have since been released. Investigators are now trying to determine what connection that person has with the SUV in Lynn Creek.
DeVries said officers have started a Motor Vehicle Act investigation, saying there is evidence of driving without due care and attention,
Getting the SUV out of the drink was no small task, Little said. Because the vehicle was sitting in waist-deep, rushing water, the department’s swift water rescue team had to help safely rig the vehicle to tow lines from two Mitchell’s Towing trucks. They made the tactical decision to flip the SUV onto its roof, allowing the operators of the two trucks to gingerly slide it up the rocks like a sled.
“There's a lot of things you can snag on the undercarriage, and it's so jagged,” Little said. “We didn't lose any fuel. We didn't lose any oil. … It was a very, very well-orchestrated thing by Mitchell's. They did a really good job of getting out.”
The median to prevent drivers from leaving the roadway and crashing into the creek starts about 80 metres back from the creek.
District of North Vancouver spokesperson Courtenay Rannard said there doesn't appear to be any significant environmental damage.
“Because there were no reports of significant pollution or leaks originating from the crash site, we are not planning to conduct any further remedial activities,” she said. “We’ve contacted the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to further discuss potential design improvements, but ultimately the work and changes are led by [the ministry.]”