The fact that a driver was drunk seems to make all the difference in a vehicle fire. That would seem to be the case in a collision on Oxford Street at Guildwood Blvd in London yesterday evening, October 5, 2019. An unidentified passenger vehicle struck a lamp standard on a centre median of Oxford Street and continued onto a lawn where it came to rest.
Witnesses claimed that just before the impact the driver was “swerving all over the road”. After the impact witnesses removed the driver from the vehicle before it went up in flames. The driver was charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle and, since there were no serious injuries it was deemed a matter of minimal importance.
Photos of the front end of the vehicle showed a prominent, narrow crush in the centre of the bumper which also reached the front edge of the hood. Such crush would be viewed as moderate at least. Certainly not a situation where a fire should have been inevitable. So why did the fire start? Is that not a relevant question? What if the vehicle was not occupied by an impaired driver but by a mother transporting three of her children? What if there were not witnesses to remove the mother or the children? Would that not be a tremendous tragedy? So why is this not relevant? The fact that no one was seriously injured or burned to death was simple circumstance and luck. Officials should not be relying on circumstance and luck to protect the public as obviously that luck will change. Incidents like these must be documented throughout Ontario and Canada and they must be investigated to make sure we are not causing unnecessary injuries and deaths.