Heavy smoke rises from a fatal car fire alongside Hwy 18 Thursday morning between Duncan and Lake Cowichan (Screenshot).

Fatal crash in Cowichan Valley claims life of driver

Coroners office has confirmed that one person is dead following a serious crash Thursday morning

A fatal accident closed Highway 18 between Duncan and Lake Cowichan Thursday morning after a car crashed into the ditch and burst into flames.

Just before 11 a.m, officers from the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP were called to assist the Cowichan Valley Fire Service with a vehicle fire on the Cowichan Valley Highway near Paldi Road.

Upon attendance, the officers located a vehicle fully engulfed in flames.

Witnesses at the scene reported that the vehicle, a four-door Toyota Tercel, had been travelling westbound on Highway 18 when it suddenly veered off the roadway.

Fire crews worked for 10 minutes to extinguish the blaze before the highway was completely shut down for RCMP to investigate.

A man, the car’s sole occupant, was found deceased inside the vehicle.

The identity of the man has yet to be determined.

The investigation into the cause of the collision is being led by the South Vancouver Island Traffic Services with assistance from the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP and the BC Coroners Service.

Andy Watson, spokesman for the BC Coroners Service, has confirmed they’re in the very early stages of their investigation into the death of the man believed to be the driver of the car.

Watson said it would take upwards of a month for their investigation to be complete.

If you have information, or were a witness to this incident and have not yet spoken to police, you are asked to contact the SVITS at 250-416-0352 and site file 2018-110.

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