TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Police examine the crash scene on the 1500-block of Stickney Avenue. At about 3:45 a.m. Friday, a pickup lost control, striking a concrete embankment, hydro pole and metal stairs.
A man ejected from a vehicle that crashed into a Hydro pole on Stickney Avenue early Friday morning is in critical condition in a Winnipeg hospital.
A Brandon Police Service officer investigates the scene of a serious overnight crash on Stickney Avenue in Brandon. A Ford pickup truck smashed through the railings and steps leading up to a set of Manitoba Housing units around 3:45 a.m. on Friday. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
The Ford pickup truck sits by the side of the road following Friday morning’s crash. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
But the situation would have been worse if not for the rail guard design of the Manitoba Housing complex where the crash took place.
"Thank God for the rails, otherwise they would have gone right in (the units)," resident Vienna Muise de Lopez told the Sun.
Brandon police are still investigating the incident, which took place 3:45 a.m. Friday on the 1500-block of Stickney Avenue.
The driver of a Ford pickup truck had lost control of the vehicle and struck a concrete embankment and then a hydro pole.
Officers believe it was travelling east on the road, at a high speed, when the crash occurred.
The ejected driver was first taken to Brandon hospital by ambulance, and then taken to Winnipeg for treatment of his injuries.
There was no change in his condition as of press time last night.
Black tire marks curving in the direction of the pole were visible at 9:30 a.m. yesterday when police conducted their investigation.
Railing from a front staircase and a child’s pink bicycle were strewn beside the pickup, along with disturbed landscape from the housing project.
The 24-unit Manitoba Housing complex, opened last fall, cost the province $6.5 million to build. Damages are estimated between $10,000-$15,000.
Residents from the units said they heard a loud "bang," and came out to see other neighbours who had gathered. Electricity was immediately out in the connecting units, which are built up on a slope defined by railing, with staircases leading to street level.
Housing resident Crystal Miller had a close view from higher ground overlooking the scene.
"I heard the passenger, she was calling 911, saying it was her in the vehicle and two on the outside," Miller said. The passenger was taken to Brandon hospital and released.
Miller said she saw police out with dogs sniffing the area soon after they arrived on the scene.
Later on Friday, Muise de Lopez came outside to survey the damage in the daylight.
She said at first she thought lightning had struck a transformer as "sparks went flying," but knew differently when other flashing lights arrived.
After that, she saw police huddled over on the sloping rocky ground.
"It looked like the man was up by the stair area," Muise de Lopez said.
The resident also confirms seeing police on the lookout shortly after arriving on the scene.
"We saw police go back in behind those houses (across the street) with flashlights searching for something," she said.
Muise de Lopez and her husband have lived in the units since March. She said speeding traffic in the area needs to be addressed.
"I’m always concerned about safety because on Stickney Avenue, people don’t like to drive slowly," she said.
In April 2012, during construction for the housing project between 15th Street North and Stickney Avenue, a worker was struck by a truck and received an ankle injury.
Residents said they’re also concerned with the fast drivers on nearby Byng Avenue.
Muise de Lopez and her husband want to see signs on Stickney Avenue urging people to slow down for children.
"I’m sure most people are aware there are kids in the area, I think a lot of them just don’t care," she said.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 16, 2012