A minivan crashed into the Merchants building in downtown Duncan on Thursday morning, July 2, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

A minivan crashed into the Merchants building in downtown Duncan on Thursday morning, July 2, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

UPDATED: Minivan crashes into Merchants building in downtown Duncan

There is no word yet on the cause of the crash.

Local emergency crews were called out Thursday morning, July 2, after a minivan crashed into the Cowichan Merchants building in downtown Duncan.

At about 10:30 a.m. a minivan went off of Government Street, hit a railing and a sign, sideswiped a parked car, pushing it into another car, then hit the building, taking out a pillar.

In a twist of fate, the parking spot that the minivan ended up in is where building manager Gord Heppell usually parks, but he was out for a few minutes and so the slot was empty.

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP said alcohol, drugs and speed are not believed to be factors in the crash. The detachment attended along with Duncan Fire Department and paramedics, and traffic was temporarily rerouted. Appropriate departments were also contacted and made aware of possible damage to the building, RCMP said in a press release.

Several people were taken to hospital for assessment.

“Thank you to the community for their cooperation while we were on scene at this collision today,” says acting shift supervisor Const. Brandon Hill. “We know it can be an inconvenience when traffic is rerouted, but it allows first responders to safely deal with issues on the roads.”

When police, fire, or paramedics are working on roads and highways, please remember to slow down and move over, and follow signs or instructions from those directing traffic, RCMP said. More information about when drivers should slow down and move over is available at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/driving-and-cycling/road-safety-rules-and-consequences/slow-down-move-over.

car crash