The scene of a crash on Highway 1 Thursday night. (Photos by: Curtis Kreklau)

Wrong-way car terrifies bridge drivers

Surrey woman arrested after driving wrong way on Highway 1, Port Mann Bridge

A South Surrey couple say they feared for their lives when they were among those who encountered a driver heading in the wrong direction on Highway 1 last week.

Peter Tilbury, 67, said he and his wife were heading home from a dinner shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday in their vintage British MGA sports car when they encountered a car travelling westbound in the eastbound lanes of the Port Mann bridge.

“It was coming towards us at a high rate of speed,” Tilbury wrote in an account sent to Peace Arch News. “If this car had hit us head-on, both my wife and I would have been killed. The fact that we both escaped…was a pure miracle, and we are not religious people.”

After swerving to avoid the car and then a concrete barrier – in an evasive move in which his car spun 180 degrees – Tilbury was able to drive safely over the bridge.

A 47-year-old Surrey woman was arrested after the extended incident, in which a 2014 grey Honda Civic was reported heading in the wrong direction on the highway.

Surrey RCMP received the call around 7:45 p.m.; soon after there was a crash in the 16000-block. One driver hit a concrete barrier and then another vehicle, after swerving to avoid a head-on collision. There were two children in the struck vehicle, but no serious injuries were reported.

Surrey RCMP say the wrong-way driver was pursued by police into Coquitlam.

The incident concluded when a police vehicle intentionally hit the car near the New Westminster border.

The woman was in “emotional distress” at that point, police say. She was released but charges are being considered.

Tilbury said that, as he and his wife were heading home after crossing the bridge – “severely shaken up” – they encountered the aftermath of the earlier crash in Surrey.

“(We) saw several vehicles parked on either side of the highway. It looked like at least one car had been side swiped, and had spun around after hitting the concrete barrier on the right side of the highway,” he said.

“An RCMP officer told us that the car we had encountered had caused this accident, and that a police helicopter was following it.”

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