An 18-year-old girl from Sechelt died early Saturday morning after the car she was a passenger in crashed into a large tree on Highway 101.
Sunshine Coast RCMP, Sechelt fire fighters and paramedics responded to the accident scene in the 6100 block of Highway 101 just after 5 a.m.
“When police arrived on scene, the driver and three passengers had managed to get themselves out of the car, but the fourth passenger needed to be extricated by members of the Sechelt fire department,” said media relations’ officer Const. Harrison Mohr. “Paramedics responded and transported the driver and three passengers to St. Mary’s Hospital with minor injuries. The fourth passenger was airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital, but died later in the morning.
“It is a sad day for Sechelt, and our thoughts go out to the girl’s family.”
Police have identified her as Summer August.
Mohr said the car was southbound on the highway, when it veered off road, travelled part ways down an embankment, and collided with a large tree. No other vehicles were involved.
He said the three other passengers were females aged 17 to 19 years old. Two were from Sechelt, and one was from North Vancouver. The driver was a 19-year-old male from Vancouver, who had a class 7 “novice” licence, limiting him to one passenger.
“It appears that the young driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel," said Mohr. "Alcohol was not a factor in the crash. We will certainly be looking at why the driver had more passengers than he was allowed to be carrying, and whether that played a role in the collision."
RCMP say the driver has not been charged with any offences, however the investigation is continuing.
Police remind young drivers that the restrictions placed on their licence are there for a reason — to keep them safe — and that drivers caught disregarding those restrictions will face penalties ranging from violation tickets to having their licence suspended.
© Coast Reporter