A collision between an eastbound van and members of a road line-painting crew sent two men to hospital – one with “significant injuries” – and closed 24 Avenue between 148 and 150 Streets in South Surrey for several hours Wednesday afternoon.
According to Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann, the men were struck by a grey minivan around 3:15 p.m., as they worked in the 14800-block of 24 Avenue.
The van, driven by a 17-year-old Surrey resident, hit a line-painter and flag person, Schumann said.
“It struck the cart and its operator. The cart was propelled forward into the flagger.”
The line-painter, a 19-year-old Surrey man, was airlifted to hospital and remains in hospital with non-life-threatening injuries; the flagger, a 34-year-old Vancouver resident, was transported by ground ambulance, treated and released.
A woman who lives nearby witnessed the victims “about a second” after they were struck, and told Peace Arch News the scene was chaotic with “a lot of screaming.”
The woman – who didn’t want to be identified – said she witnessed another crash earlier that day in the same spot, and questioned why the stretch of road, which has been under construction for several months, was being so poorly managed.
“People are confused by the markings,” she said. “It makes me really angry when things like this that are preventable happen.”
The van driver and his two passengers were not injured.
Schumann said cause of the crash has yet to be determined. The Mounties’ Criminal Collision Investigation Team and Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service are investigating, with WorkSafe BC, he said, noting investigation is expected to take “a couple months.”
Traffic in the area was re-routed until 10 p.m. Wednesday.
– with files from Melissa Smalley