Highway to Hardy harrowing

ICBC stats show Port Hardy-to-Campbell River stretch of Hwy. 19 second-most dangerous on Island

The section of Highway 19 between Campbell River and Port Hardy ranks as the second-worst on the Island for fatal vehicle crashes, according to statistics from ICBC.

The data explores the period from 2004 to 2013. Overall accidents with fatalities in the province have dropped dramatically during that time, to 125 in 2013 from 238 in 2004.

The long, mountainous run between Campbell River and Port Hardy had 23 fatal accidents in the decade.

The stretch from Courtenay to Nanaimo on Hwy. 19 ranked in a sixth-place tie with 26 fatalities. Most of those occurred on the older, coastal highway 19A, with traffic fatalities dropping following completion of the four-lane Inland Highway. It was the only stretch of highway on Vancouver Island to make the top 10 list of B.C.’s most dangerous, though the Northern stretch of Hwy. 19 landed just outside the top 10.

The run between Golden and Revelstoke on Highway 1 ranked as the most dangerous, with 38 crashes resulting in fatalities in the 10-year period measured. That was followed by the Duncan-Victoria stretch of Hwy. 1.

Ranking ninth on Vancouver Island was the run from Campbell River to Courtenay on coastal Hwy. 19A, with 10 fatal crashes, or an average of one per year. Eight fatal accidents were recorded in the vicinity of the Campbell River junction where Hwy 19, Hwy 19A and Hwy 28 (to Gold River) converge.  Another four were recorded on the Inland Hwy. 19 between Campbell River and Courtenay, ranking lowest among road stretches with recorded crashes.  ICBC indicated the report is for information purposes. Precise mapping of incidents is not always possible and counts by location are not considered comprehensive.The report covers only public roads falling under the Motor Vehicle Act, and does not include forest service roads, industrial roads or private driveways.