Charlie Newman remains in critical condition following Highway 18 head-on

Fighting with courage: one man dead in ugly collision last Wednesday morning, one remains in critical condition

A Cowichan man remains in critical condition following an ugly accident that on Highway 18 last week that killed another man.

At last update, Charlie Newman — son of former longtime Lake Cowichan fire chief Dick Newman and his wife Anne — remains in Victoria General Hospital with grave injuries.

Anne has been keeping the community updated on Charlie’s condition through regular Facebook posts.

“Thank you for your prayers, I know they are helping our son in his fight for his life. He is still listed in critical condition but he has impressed the ICU staff with his incredible courage and recuperative powers,” she posted Sept. 19.

“It pays to be a big, healthy fit man who has such a powerful love for his family that he’s not willing to give up. Please keep those prayers coming and we will win the battle. Love you all.”

Another family source said he is not out of the woods yet, and could be facing a lengthy period of rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, David Foote, the Duncan driver of the other vehicle in the crash died Thursday morning in hospital.

Foote, 24, was described “larger than life” by his father.

“He was pretty outgoing. It’s unfortunate this accident happened,” a shaken David Foote Sr. told the Gazette Friday afternoon.  “I’m at a loss for words.

“(David) crossed the centre line; I don’t know anymore than that. The only good thing is that David donated his organs; they’ve found a recipient for his organs.”

Foote and his family have extended their condolences to the Newman family.

RCMP Cpl. Jon Stuart said the police investigation continues into how Foote’s white eastbound pickup collided with Newman’s white, westbound pickup — towing a boat bound for a fishing trip off Port Renfrew — at about 6 a.m. Wednesday near Hillcrest Road.

The accident left Foote’s unidentified male passenger with injuries after he was thrown clear, a witness has said.

That man, and Newman’s daughter, Kennedy — who was also injured — were released from hospital, the RCMP said Thursday.

Mark Primmer of Chemainus’ Well Bred Bakery is an acquaintance of Newman and was following his westbound truck as part of two-vehicle convoy.

He told the Gazette he saw Newman’s daughter sitting injured at the roadside, while a passenger from Primmer’s ride removed the westbound driver from the wreckage.

“He was taken out of the vehicle because there was gas and oil everywhere.”

Foote, meanwhile was “wrapped up” in his crumpled vehicle.

“No charges yet, but the investigation is continuing,” Stuart said.

Primmer said he and his friends  tried to call for help, but there was no cell-phone reception at the crash scene.

“We flagged down the next vehicle, and asked them to call for help when they got to (Duncan).”

Two air ambulances attended the scene to transport injured people to hospital.

Primmer called the gruesome incident surreal and was still coming to terms with what happened.

“There was an explosion and stuff, and smoke and what have you. You kind of squint your eyes. I’m still in disbelief,” he said by telephone late Wednesday morning.

“Both the trucks were white. When the smoke was clearing and in the confusion, you didn’t even know which one was which.”


Highway 18 was blocked in both directions as investigators scoured the scene. The highway was reopened at about 2 p.m. Wednesday.