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.

Just Posted

‘Miscommunication’ behind Frosty melt in Vernon

Bylaw working with owners to get permits in place for holiday decoration, city says

Vernon airport prepares for plane crashes

Several agencies practised emergency response in tabletop exercise

Enderby pilot to make second journey to Antarctica

24-year-old pilot flies as a first officer for Calgary-based airline

Vernon bylaw says Frosty has to go: store owner

Vernon Teach and Learn told to take down inflatable snowman

Night eyes for Kamloops-based air ambulance

Helicopters equipped with military-grade night-vision technology

VIDEO: Feds give update on flying clearance for Santa’s sled

Transport Minister Marc Garneau has this message for the country’s children

MITCHELL’S MUSINGS: Three amigos take on Trump

Boris Johnson, Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron talk U.S. president at NATO meeting

Penticton Indian Band to host new by-election after successful appeal of 2017 results

On Dec. 13, the membership voted to host a new by-election

Wagon wheels can now be any size: B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

Sentencing for B.C. father who murdered two young daughters starts Monday

The bodies of Aubrey, 4, and Chloe, 6, were found in Oak Bay father’s apartment Dec. 25, 2017

LETTER: Universal pharmacare program needed

Millions of Canadians are waiting for this historic step

LETTER: Support needed to eradicate polio

As long as it exists the disease can suddenly erupt and spread anywhere

B.C. vet talks tips for winter travel with pets

Going to see the vet the day before a trip is never a good idea

Most Read