Two occupants of a Hyundai Elantra were airlifted to hospital on Monday morning following a collision with a water well drilling rig. (Mike Gregory Photo)

Two occupants of a Hyundai Elantra were airlifted to hospital on Monday morning following a collision with a water well drilling rig. (Mike Gregory Photo)

Two people critically injured in Ladysmith highway crash

Two people were airlifted to hospital with critical injures following a two-vehicle collision on the Trans-Canada Highway in Ladysmith on Monday morning.

The collision between the Hyundai Elantra and a water well drilling rig occurred at 6:19 a.m. where South Davis Road intersects with the highway.

Ladysmith RCMP said a preliminary investigation had found that the northbound semi-truck collided with the small vehicle, which was crossing over to the other side of the highway.

“At this time the preliminary investigation would suggest the car was travelling east off of Davis Road and for whatever reason ended up in the path of the water well drilling rig,” Const. Marcel Slofstra told the Chronicle at the scene.

“The driver of the commercial vehicle took evasive action as is evident from the roadway here to try and avoid the collision but was unable to stop or avoid contact with the car.”

The top-heavy rig was forced onto its side causing significant damage to the centre median and blocking both directions on the highway.

The two occupants of the car were a 50 year old female and 63 year old male but are not Ladysmith residents, according to RCMP.

They were both rushed to the Nanaimo Airport and then transported by air ambulance. The extent of their injuries are not known but are considered to be critical in nature.

The driver of the rig suffered very minor injuries and the semi-truck had just left Duncan on its way to a job site.

Mid-Isle Heavy Towing was on scene helping to repair the highway median and remove the commercial vehicle while traffic was diverted through town around the accident scene.

RCMP hope to have the highway reopened by noon.

“We are concerned about a fuel tank rupture potentially so it’s going to take a little bit of time to get this vehicle righted and get the highway reopened,” Slofstra said.