Les Sylven, Chief Constable of Central Saanich Police, spoke to media on Tues. August 28, the morning after a fatal crash on Central Saanich Road killed one woman, injured her sister, and killed one dog. (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

VIDEO: Driver’s sobriety a factor in fatal Vancouver Island crash, police say

Driver crossed centre line before striking pedestrians Monday night in Victoria

There are now more details after a fatal crash killed a 51-year old woman walking along a rural road in Central Saanich.

Central Saanich Police Chief Constable Les Sylven confirmed an SUV struck two sisters that were out walking their dogs in the 7600 block of Central Saanich Road on Aug. 27 at roughly 7 p.m. The sisters, aged 51 and 48, were visiting the community and walking on the soft shoulder of the road. There are no sidewalks.

Central Saanich Police said the 51-year old died at the scene, and her 48-year old sister is at Victoria General Hospital with “very serious injuries — critical injuries,” said Sylven.

“The SUV appeared to cross the centre line and strike the two sisters, the pedestrians, who were on the other side of the road,” said Sylven.

One dog also died at the scene, while the other managed to run home.

RELATED: One woman killed, another injured when struck by SUV

Police said the driver, a 26-year old man from Central Saanich, suffered minor injuries and stayed at the scene before being taken to hospital and later released.

Sylven said they are still in the early stages of what he expects to be a long and complex investigation.

“Typically what we look for in these types of situations are mechanical issues with vehicles, road conditions and those types of factors. In this case, the sobriety of the driver are conditions we’re looking into more than anything else at this point.”

The two sisters were not from Central Saanich and had been visiting family in the area.

They say other factors, like the speed of the vehicle or the possibility of distracted driving will be determined in the days ahead.

Central Saanich mayor Ryan Windsor said he was saddened by the news.

“It’s changed lives and it saddens me personally that it happened,” said Windsor.

He expressed his appreciation to first responders, who also attended a two-vehicle collision on the Pat Bay highway and Keating Cross Rd. at around 11 p.m. that night. Windsor said the cause of the crash was not yet known, but said that speed on many rural roads, including Central Saanich Road, has been an issue monitored by police in the past.

Police spoke with a number of witnesses Monday evening, but ask anyone who was in the area or might have information and has not yet spoken with police, to contact them (250-652-4441) or Crime Stoppers (1-800-222-TIPS).


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— with files from Hugo Wong

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