Pemberton man charged in collision that closed highway for two hours 

Driver allegedly swerved to miss oncoming police car while attempting to pass

Guillermo Bright and Paul Fournier never saw the truck that almost killed them.

They were driving home to Whistler shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday, after a day of mountain biking in Pemberton, when Bright’s Nissan Pathfinder was struck from behind by a pickup truck.

The last time Bright looked in the rear-view mirror the closest vehicle was a white car about 50 metres back.

He saw a police car in the oncoming lane a moment later, and reflexively glanced down to check his speed. He was relieved to see that he was only going about 80 km/h, the speed limit.

The next thing he knew there was a loud crashing noise and his Pathfinder was heading into the concrete barrier.

"I just went into a tuck and closed my eyes when we hit, and the next thing I knew we were rolling down the bank on the other side. I don’t know if we went through the barrier or over it. I remember thinking ‘please stop rolling, please don’t hit a big tree’. I also remember thinking ‘how the hell did that happen? Who hit me?’ It felt like I had a lot of time to think," said Bright, who estimates that his truck didn’t stop until he was almost 200 feet from the road.

Another thought that crossed his mind was that the police officer that the truck swerved to miss would be a witness to the accident and would be able to call in help a lot faster.

His vehicle eventually came to rest in some young trees in a swampy area at the bottom of the embankment.

Fournier doesn’t know how far he was thrown from the vehicle, but was told that it could have been as much as 100 feet.

"Everybody who saw it is telling me I’m lucky to be alive. I went to look at the truck the other day in the impound yard, and it’s crushed like a pop can, so I believe it," said Fournier.

Fournier was in the passenger seat of Bright’s Pathfinder when the accident occurred. He had just taken his seatbelt off to untie his bike cleats when their vehicle was rammed from behind.

He guesses he went through the side window, smashing through the glass, before landing in a boulder field. It’s hard to tell because every window in the vehicle was broken as the truck tumbled down the slope.

The first thing he remembers is a woman who attended the scene asking him if he was awake and advising him not to move.


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