Pedestrian critically injured as firefighter responded to emergency 

Whole fire department affected by accident; investigation ongoing

A local firefighter en route to the village fire hall in response to an emergency call struck a young man crossing Village Gate Boulevard early Monday morning.

The accident happened at 1:40 a.m. in between the bus stop and the pedestrian footbridge.

The 22-year-old victim is in critical condition at Vancouver General Hospital and his family has flown from Britain to be with him.

Constable Devon Jones of the Whistler-Pemberton RCMP said the accident is still under investigation by a re-constructionist with the Lower Mainland Traffic Services. The local RCMP has also interviewed two witnesses who were passing by the scene at the time of the accident.

"We don’t know at this time if we’re going to lay charges," said Jones.

The firefighter was a paid, on-call member of the Whistler Fire Rescue Service. He was responding to an emergency page for a rollover car on Glacier Drive, near Whistler-Blackcomb staff housing. He was in his own vehicle, heading to the fire hall, when the accident happened.

"Something like this has a profound affect on (the firefighters)," said Jones

That sentiment was echoed by Fire Chief Bruce Hall.

"I think all our people – their feelings and thoughts are with the young gentleman and his family," said Hall.

The members of the fire department are also thinking about their fellow firefighter, he said.

Hall added that there has never been an incident like this before.

"It’s certainly affected the department," he said.

It is not yet clear whether speed was a factor in the accident. Both the police department and the fire department reiterated that responding paid, on-call firefighters are not supposed to speed to the fire hall when in their own vehicles.

"They’re not supposed to exceed the speed limit while driving," said Jones.

He could not say when the investigation would be complete.

It is also not clear if the victim was crossing the street to get to the bus stop at the time of the accident.

That section of road is a busy pedestrian route, as people cross the road to get to the bus or from the bus to the village.

Jones said: "I would certainly be looking into that."

As for the rollover on Glacier Drive, there were no injuries, said Jones, and the driver was issued a 24 hour suspension under the Motor Vehicle Act after tests showed there was alcohol in the bloodstream.

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