Early morning Malahat crash claims 1 victim

A man is dead following a single vehicle crash on the accident-plagued Malahat Highway, on the outskirts of Victoria.

West Shore RCMP Cpl. Cory Bayda said the incident happened just before 5 a.m. Saturday morning.

"One of the maintenance crews from the Trans-Canada Highway advised us that they had seen a vehicle that went off the edge of the highway near Wellswood Road, which is north of Langford on the Malahat Highway," Bayda said.

The car landed in a ditch, down a short 6 to 9-metre embankment, he said.

When police arrived, they found the driver in the car, Bayda said. The victim, a man believed to be in his 40s, was pronounced dead at the scene.

An accident analyst was examining the scene for most of the morning on Saturday.

Bayda says alcohol is not suspected as a factor in the crash, but a toxicology analysis of the dead man will be performed.

Last week, the B.C. government announced the final portion of safety upgrades on the Malahat Highway were underway.

There has been an average of 58 accidents per year on the highway, including 15 fatalities since 2000. Police, drivers and residents have long campaigned for fixes to the highways most hazardous stretches.

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