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Feds sue B.C. firm, truck driver in fatal crash that burned bridge

Lawsuit says crash caused extensive damage to Sikanni Bridge along Alaska Highway
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The federal government is suing a B.C.-based trucking company and the estate of the driver killed in a fiery crash in northern B.C. that led to extensive damage of Sikanni Chief Bridge in August 2022. (Facebook/Contributed to Black Press Media)

The federal government is suing a B.C.-based trucking company and the estate of the driver killed in a fiery crash in northern B.C. that led to extensive damage of a bridge in August 2022.

The Attorney General of Canada filed the lawsuit in the Supreme Court of B.C. on May 31. It lists Troyer Ventures Ltd., a Fort St. John-based company, and the estate of John Arthur Olson as defendants. 

Troyer, which has an office in Vancouver, provides fluid transportation, distribution and storage services for crude and refined products, including natural gas liquid. Troyer uses its trucks, trailers and drivers to transport and distribute the products they carry. 

Olson, whose estate is administered by Amy Lynne Moore, was the driver of the truck that crashed.

On Aug. 25, 2022, OIson was driving the Troyer truck and trailer to transport natural gas on the Alaska Highway, which is operated and maintained by the federal government. The Sikanni Chief Bridge is also operated, maintained and owned by the government. 

The lawsuit states the weather that day was "sunny and free of rain," and road conditions near the bridge were dry. 

That evening, while Olson was driving over the bridge, he crashed causing a fire when the truck and trailer containing the highly flammable natural gas collapsed. Olson was killed in the crash.

The lawsuit claims negligence by Olson, including driving into the bridge or its barricades, failing to keep the truck in control, driving at an excessive speed, driving with defective brakes, failing to inspect the brakes, failing to ensure the truck was mechanically sound and driving while his ability to drive was impaired by fatigue or other factors. It adds Troyer is liable for Olson. 

The lawsuit says the crash and fire caused extensive damage to the Sikanni Chief Bridge, but adds the "final expenses to repair the Sikanni Chief Bridge will be proven at trial."

The federal government is seeking damages, loss and expenses for costs to repair the bridge and the highway.

Neither Troyer Ventures or Olson's estate have filed a response. They have 21 days from when the suit was served to file a response. 

Black Press Media has reached out to Troyer Ventures. 



Lauren Collins

About the Author: Lauren Collins

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media's national team, after my journalism career took me across B.C. since I was 19 years old.
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