A three-vehicle head-on collision near the Tsawwassen ferry terminal brought traffic to a standstill and put the ferries on pause for several hours today.
Both the 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. sailings from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen — the first off the Island in nearly 24 hours after a major windstorm — were held at the dock while emergency crews responded, and the 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. departures from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay were unable to load.
Delta police were notified of the crash, which left one person seriously injured, around 8:40 a.m., said public affairs coordinator Cris Leykauf.
An air ambulance attended the scene to transport one person to hospital. The two other people involved in the collision were not injured, Leykauf said.
“Because it’s a head-on collision, it’s impacting traffic in both directions,” Leykauf said.
Delta firefighters were responding to a diesel spill that occurred as a result of the crash.
Delta police estimated the road would be fully reopened around 4:30 p.m.
The collision led to multiple-sailing waits for vehicle passengers from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, following dozens of cancellations since Friday.
Around 10:10 a.m., B.C. Ferries said traffic was moving for vehicles exiting the terminal, but the company was waiting for police to start alternating traffic to allow vehicles to begin loading.
As of 2 p.m., the last boat to leave Tsawwassen was the 10 a.m. departure, which left the terminal about an hour late.
B.C. Ferries cancelled a round trip between the Island and the mainland, leaving Tsawwassen at 11 a.m. and Swartz Bay at 1 p.m., because an engineer needed for the sailing was not able to get through the traffic jam to the terminal. A round trip was added, leaving Swartz Bay at noon and Tsawwassen at 2 p.m.
The accident is expected to cause delays on all three major routes out of Tsawwassen throughout the day, said B.C. Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall.
“We’re going to try to get our customers to where they want to go as safely as possible,” she said.
B.C. Ferries said passengers with reservations who are unable to make it to the terminal as a result of the accident will be accommodated on the next available sailing.