A flag person was struck by a vehicle on Highway 6 in Lavington at 10 am Friday morning. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)

A flag person was struck by a vehicle on Highway 6 in Lavington at 10 am Friday morning. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)

Shock hits Okanagan flagging company

Experienced employee battling serious injuries after being hit by a car

A professional with 37 years of experience keeping drivers and workers safe on local highways is now battling a devastating workplace injury.

An employee of Okanagan Traffic Control Professionals was struck by a car Friday morning on Highway 6 in Lavington. The 66-year-old Enderby resident remains in serious but stable condition at Kelowna General Hospital.

While the loving wife and mother to two sons and a daughter fights in hospital, her colleagues are shaken by the incident.

“It’s a pretty terrible thing,” said Traci Jeeves, OCTP owner.

Unable to hold back her tears, Jeeves explains how Friday was a special day for the flagger.

“It was her 66th birthday on the day she was hurt.”

Having worked for her for 10 years, no one ever would have expected this to happen.

“She was top notch. She had 37 years experience so it’s a bit of a shock to all of us who have a lot of experience because there’s nothing we could have done,” said Jeeves, who has been in business for 17 years and says her staff have hundreds of hours of experience.

“If anyone would have been hurt I would have never guessed it would have been anyone from my team.”

Therefore the incident has left the “family” at OCTP shaken.

“There is critical, serious head injuries,” said Jeeves. “She is not doing very good so we are waiting for her to respond to medications that will reduce the bleeding and swelling in her head.

“It’s pretty hard.”

Jeeves only hopes that the incident can serve as a reminder to motorists to pay attention.

“It doesn’t matter how much experience you (traffic control personnel) have, if a driver is distracted it, it can happen.”

At the same time, she feels for the 75-year-old driver.

“This poor driver he made an error and now he’s, I’m sure, mourning and grieving somewhere – I just can’t imagine how he’s feeling.

“He tried to stop, he saw our stop sign but couldn’t stop in time, for whatever reason. It was an accident.”

Meanwhile an awareness event planned Saturday for the site where the flagger was hit, has been moved from the somber site. The event will take place on Highway 97 in Vernon on hospital hill.

“It’s a little too soon,” said Jeeves. “How do we support that? I would love to be there, but I was just there picking up garments on the roadway.”

While she knows those planning the event and attending mean well, it’s still so raw for those still in shock from the incident.

“I’m supporting my workers to do whatever they want. But Sunday was a world day of remembrance for traffic victims. I don’t think we need another day this close to when (she) was hurt.”



jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Veteran Vernon broadcaster Betty Selin has accepted an invitation from the Vernon Community Radio Society to be its honourary fundraising campaign chairperson. (Photo submitted)
Veteran Vernon broadcaster named honourary fundraising chair

Betty Selin accepts invitation from Vernon Community Radio Society as campaign is set to start

The Village of Lumby is implementing a new residential waste collection program that will include curbside organic collection later in 2021. (File photo)
Curbside compost among coming changes to Lumby waste collection

A new waste collection program aims to reduce the amount of waste in regional landfills

COVID-19 numbers provided by Interior Health show Salmon Arm and Revelstoke in the 200-plus range from January 2020 to February 2021 while Vernon, with a larger population, tallied more than 600 over the 14 months. (BC Centre for Disease Control map)
14 months of COVID-19 data show Kamloops cases doubling Vernon’s

Jan. 1, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021: 605 cases reported for Vernon, 243 for Salmon Arm, 1,246 for Kamloops

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce’s general manager Dan Proulx, left, hosted a virtual Official Opposition town hall meeting with Shadow Cabinet Minister Small Business Pat Kelly, right, and North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold March 3, 2021. (Screenshot)
Tourism key to business recovery in North Okanagan-Shuswap: MP

Easing travel restrictions, limiting taxation and debt management critical to COVID-19 economic recovery

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Riverside Centre includes a theatre hosting local plays, visiting musicians and dance troupes. It is also used for community events such as public meetings and fundraisers. Photo Town of Princeton
Penticton Fire Department pulled a kayaker from Okanagan Lake on Wednesday after he had fallen out of his boat and called 911. The man was taken to the hospital for treatment. (Western News - File)
Kayaker rescued from Okanagan Lake after falling in and calling 911

The Penticton Fire Department’s Marine Rescue pulled him out suffering from severe cold

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

Thomas Kruger-Allen is expected to be sentenced Friday, March 5, 2021.
Sentencing expected Friday for 2019 Penticton beach attack

Defense wants 12 to 18 months for beach assaults that left one of his victims with brain injury

(BCCDC)
42 cases of COVID-19 in the Central Okanagan last week

Officials have identified almost 3,000 cases of the virus in the Central Okanagan throughout the pandemic

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Most Read