Volunteers from Operation Red Nose were helping people get home safe on New Year's Eve when a suspected drunk driver allegedly rear-ended them in Kamloops.
Police said the volunteers were driving three partiers home minutes before the 12 a.m. countdown when a Dodge Ram pickup suddenly struck them from behind on the Trans-Canada Highway.
The pickup then veered across the highway and crashed down an embankment, according to Kamloops RCMP. The driver was trapped in the vehicle and had to be freed by emergency crews, but nobody involved in the crash was seriously hurt.
"This incident serves as a somber reminder to find a safe and sober ride home," Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey said in a news release. "Thankfully no one was seriously injured as a result of this entirely preventable collision, which could have had a deadly outcome."
There were three Operation Red Nose volunteers in the vehicles along with the three partiers they were escorting home. The organization operates in hundreds of communities across Canada every holiday season, driving people home from parties in their own vehicles.
Authorities said the Dodge Ram driver appeared intoxicated, but refused to provide a breath sample at the scene. The 24-year-old Kamloops man was handed a 90-day immediate roadside prohibition and charged with driving without due care and attention.
It's unclear whether he will face any further charges.
Kamloops RCMP asked anyone who witnessed the crash but hasn't already spoken with investigators to call them at 250-828-3000.