A woman driving a car that was having mechanical problems is believed to be the trigger for a nine-vehicle crash on the Mission Bridge during the afternoon rush hour on Tuesday.
Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said the woman, who was heading south, had stopped to activate the hazard lights on her Kia when she was rear-ended by a Toyota Sienna. This caused a chain-reaction collision in which five other vehicles suffered minor damage.
A second collision then occurred when a white pickup that had stopped in time was rear-ended by a Dodge pickup that had experienced brake failure.
The woman in the Kia and the two occupants of the white pickup were all injured. An air ambulance was called to the scene, resulting in all lanes of traffic being shut down in both directions.
It was determined that ground transportation was more appropriate for the injured parties. MacDonald said the two men suffered soft-tissue injuries and were released later that night.
The woman was still in hospital as of press deadline Wednesday, and was recovering from cuts, bruises and possible broken ribs. She was initially believed to have suffered a head injury, but that was ruled out at the hospital.
The pile-up occurred at about 5 p.m., and northbound lanes of traffic opened up 90 minutes later. At about 9 p.m., one of the northbound lanes was used to move southbound traffic.
Southbound lanes did not fully open until about 1:30 a.m., after police collision reconstructionists were finished at the scene.
MacDonald said the Mission Bridge can be somewhat hazardous to drive because the dips in the road can make it difficult to see a stopped car far enough in advance.
That, combined with the 80 km/h speed limit and the rush-hour traffic congestion, can create a dangerous situation, and it’s fortunate there were no fatalities, he said.
“It could have been way worse.”
MacDonald said several of the drivers will now likely face charges under the Motor Vehicle Act.