British Columbia

Deadly weekend on B.C. roads sees 5 killed in just over 24 hours

There's no way to predict when B.C. roads will see a string of fatal crashes like the ones that took the lives of five people this weekend, according to RCMP.

RCMP say string of fatal crashes on Vancouver Island and in Surrey 'very, very random'

A serious crash on the Malahat this weekend killed one man. (Margo Sheridan/Facebook)

It was a lethal weekend on B.C. highways, with five fatal crashes in just a little over 24 hours.

A 15-year-old  was killed early Saturday near Ladysmith, a motorcyclist died after crashing into a gate in Delta, two men died when a stolen car crashed into a cemetery in Surrey and another man was killed in a three-car collision on the Malahat Highway, north of Victoria.

There's no way to predict when B.C. roads will see a string of fatal crashes like that, according to Const. Mike Halskov of the B.C. RCMP's traffic division.

He said it was an unusually high number of fatal crashes in a short time period, but that's just the way things work out sometimes.

"It is very, very random. We can go weekends or weeks for that matter … without anything and then all of a sudden we'll get a rash of them happen over a few days," Halskov said.

"Sometimes, there's just no rhyme or reason to it."

Investigators believe speed was a factor in the Ladysmith and Surrey crashes this weekend, but Halskov said there are often very few similarities when there's a spike in collisions.

"There's just no way of predicting what day of the week, or what time of day and what causal factors might contribute to any specific collision," Halskov said.

However, the statistics show that traffic deaths generally increase as the weather warms up.

Between 2007 and 2016 in B.C., the average number of crash-related deaths rose slightly in the summer months, to 33 in both July and August, according to government statistics. That compares to an average low of 20 deaths in April.

After a weekend like this, Halskov is asking drivers to take precautions on the road.

"They can mitigate the risk to themselves of being in a collision by … driving sober, obviously, and obeying the rules of the road and speed limits and the directions of flaggers or emergency services personnel that might be out on our roadways and just generally taking it easy out there," he said.