British Columbia

Fatal highway dangers well known: mayor

The mayor of Ucluelet, B.C., says he's been warning for years about the dangers of a stretch of highway where two paramedics plunged to their death in an ambulance early Tuesday morning.

The mayor of Ucluelet, B.C., says he's been warning for years about the dangers of a stretch of highway where two paramedics plunged to their death in an ambulance early Tuesday morning.

Jo-Ann Fuller, 58, and Ivan Polivka, 65, were killed when their ambulance went off the highway between Port Alberni and Tofino and plunged down a steep cliff into Kennedy Lake, ending up submerged in nine metres of water.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but Mayor Eric Russcher says he's spoken repeatedly to the Ministry of Transportation about the narrow winding section of Highway 4 where the ambulance went off the road.

Russcher said he last expressed concerns about the road to provincial officials at the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Whistler last month.

"It's a concern we express every year with the Minster of Highways and they are also well aware of it and looking for an alternative to having that road right there on the cliff," said Russcher.

The Ministry did install warning signs in that area just days before the accident, but Russcher says, ultimately, the road needs to be widened or moved.

"It's really difficult to try and address this issue without relaying the road to the other side of the mountain or doing a huge amount of blasting,"

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