What is it about the intersection of Hazel Street and First Avenue that is so dangerous?
No one seems to have a definitive answer but the otherwise non-descript location where these two Chilliwack streets meet has been the site of dozens of crashes over the years.
“There is something about this corner that is awful,” resident Sarah Sorensen said after yet another crash at the spot last Thursday.
“My neighbours and I are a team of first responders.”
Real first responders were dispatched Oct. 5 to the scene of a motor-vehicle accident at the corner of Hazel and First. Two vehicles were involved in the crash, which occurred around 8:45 a.m. Firefighters used the Jaws of Life to extricate the female driver who was not seriously injured.
Just last month a recreational vehicle plowed into a home across the street from the accident scene, cutting the residential gas line and forcing the evacuation of the surrounding homes.
It was the second time in the past year that the home has been hit by a vehicle.
One neighbour, who didn’t want her name used, said at the scene of the Oct. 5 crash that she had lived in the area for 11 years and has seen countless of accidents at the intersection.
“The city has to do something,” she said, stopping to pick up a piece of debris on the road before joining other neighbours.
Sorensen said she recalls looking out her second-floor window one time and seeing an SUV flipping through the air and landing.
“It’s like living in Universal Studios here,” she said.
Sorensen added that ICBC and RCMP crash data likely wouldn’t even tell the full story because there are so many fender benders “where people just get out and give each other the finger and go along their merry way.”
The main problem, according to Sorensen, is drivers coming south on Hazel from north of First go way too fast and ignore the stop sign, often crashing into vehicles on First.
She’s contacted the city and she is thankful they are taking the situation seriously and will send a team out to examine a possible solution.
What prompted Sorensen to contact The Progress was this latest crash that took out a small tree where her daughter was playing just the day before.
“My daughter came home and said ‘My fairy tree is gone,’ and I thought ‘thank God you weren’t playing there.’”