Twice in a matter of weeks Chantal Barichievy has stepped onto the street in front of her Langley City home to discover her car had been damaged by a passing SUV. That’s where the coincidences begin. Photo supplied

Same crash, different day on Langley City street

Eerily similar accidents on residential road

Déjà vu, from the French for “already seen,” refers to the feeling that something happening now has been experienced already.

Langley City resident Chantal Barichievy has been feeling a lot of déjà vu lately, after the car she owned was damaged in a crash while parked outside her home in July, followed by a virtually identical crash in August.

Both accidents happened around the same time of day, on a weekend, in the 19900 block of 50 Avenue, along a section of the residential road with a playground and a 30 km/h speed limit.

Both involved SUVs that flipped following the collision, and both saw the same tow truck driver transport the damaged cars to the same repair shop.

And, fortunately, no one was seriously hurt in either case.

“At the end, all you can do is laugh,” said Barichievy of the string of coincidences.

It wasn’t all that funny when her mother woke her up to tell her about the first crash, however.

Barichievy, who shares a house with her parents Derek and Sue Barichievy, was working nights when, on the afternoon of Saturday, July 22, Sue tapped on the door to her daughter’s downstairs suite.

The daughter’s first reaction was disbelief.

“I thought she was joking” Chantal told the Times.

That was because about 11 years earlier, a car Chantal owned was hit in the same location on the street in front of the family home.

“In the exact same spot.”

When her mother told her the police were there and needed to talk to her, Chantal got up and went outside to see a Honda CRV had landed on its roof.

It had run into the rear of her parked Mini Cooper and flipped.

The police report said the crash occurred at 2:58 p.m.

The occupants of the Honda, a woman and two young passengers, were not seriously injured, the report said.

One of the children suffered a minor hand injury and a scraped knee.

The report indicates the woman was very upset.

After talking to police, Chantal called ICBC and had her car towed to a repair shop.

Police did not issue a ticket.

Three weeks later, on Saturday, Aug. 12, the exact same thing happened again.

This time, Chantal saw it.

She’d parked her rental car, a Hyundai Accent, in front of a Cadillac.

At 1:50 p.m. a Jeep hit the rear of the Cadillac, driving it into the back end of the Hyundai, before the SUV came to rest on its side.

“I actually saw the Jeep flip,” Chantal said.

Her first reaction, was, “Oh no, not again,” immediately followed by hoping no-one was hurt.

As it turned out, the woman driving the Jeep, the only occupant, was uninjured and only needed help climbing out.

“She didn’t even look like she had a scratch.”

The driver of the Jeep told police at the scene that she was blinded by the light of the sun.

Officers did not issue a ticket.

Then, the tow truck driver showed up, and turned to be the same person who’d removed Chantal’s other car the month before.

He told Chantal he was taking the rental car to the same location he towed her vehicle.

To avoid tempting fate further, Chantal is parking her latest rental vehicle, a Nissan Rogue SUV, off the street.

“I hope I’m done now,” Chantal said.

Langley City council had already recently approved a number of traffic calming measures for the street that could go in as soon as September.

At its June 12, meeting, council approved speed bumps, a raised crosswalk and curb extensions for 50 Avenue.

The move came after a mail-out ballot by the City found residents were 81 per cent in favour of measures that would force motorists to slow down.

A report to council on the May 24 open house on different proposals for traffic calming at Nicomekl Elementary School noted that the City “has had many requests for traffic calming and safety improvements on 50 Avenue fronting Conder Park (19800 block) over the past several years.”

The improvements can’t come too soon for the Barichievy family, who said other attempts to discourage speeding haven’t led to lasting change on 50 Avenue.

Police have set up radar on the street in the past, and while it does have a deterrent effect, Derek said, eventually speeding picks up again.

The City has also installed speed reader signs that display the km/h of oncoming traffic in a bid to encourage drivers to respect the 30 km/h limit near the Conder Park playground, but after an initial slowdown, compliance has faded, he said.

Work on the speed bumps and other traffic calming measures along 50 Avenue could start as soon as next month (towards the end of September), but that will depend on whether contractors are available.

dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

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