PORT McNEILL—An 18-year-old Port McNeill man was flown to Victoria with life-threatening injuries while several passengers in the truck he was driving escaped serious injury after the truck rolled over in a remote gravel pit near Anutz Lake in the early morning hours of Sept. 1.
The victim, Taylor Ellis, remained in hospital this week with serious injuries. An account has been set up for his family at the Port McNeill branch of Coastal Community Credit Union, and friends of the family also staffed a booth at the recent Fall Fair and plan a barbecue this Saturday at Marketplace IGA.
After Port McNeill RCMP were called and responded to the crash, officers discovered that a pickup truck with several passengers had rolled over in a gravel pit area and the driver had sustained life threatening injuries. Other passengers had reportedly received minor injuries, not requiring hospitalization.
Witnesses reported that prior to the crash the 18-year-old male driver of the pickup had allegedly been driving fast while turning sharply, resulting in the pickup overturning.The driver was partially ejected from the vehicle and was subsequently pinned underneath when the truck came to rest. Only one passenger of five was wearing a seatbelt.
Witnesses at the scene were able to remove the driver while help was summoned by others. The remote location of this crash also created considerable delay for emergency services to be notified, RCMP said in a written release.
It appears from initial investigation that an unsanctioned event was being held at nearby Anutz Lake involving alcohol and that occupants from the crash had been attending this event. Information received by police also indicates that both adults and youth were unlawfully consuming alcohol.
Police are investigating all aspects of this incident including the cause of this crash and factors which may have contributed to it – such as adults providing alcohol to minors. Investigators from North Vancouver Island Traffic Services and Port McNeill detachment will be continuing this investigation to ensure that every effort is made to reduce opportunity for these tragic incidents from occurring in future.
RCMP said the impact of these types of tragedies is enormous to communities and it is everyone’s responsibility to contribute to the safety of others, particularly our youth. Anyone with information about this incident is requested to contact Port McNeill’s RCMP detachment at 250-956-4441 or anonymously through Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS). Your assistance is appreciated and significantly contributes to the prevention of such tragic events.