A man is dead and part the Island Highway between Campbell River and Courtenay was closed for hours this morning after a pre-dawn truck crash.
The southbound lane of the Inland Island Highway (19) was shut down from Jubilee Parkway in Campbell River, to Hamm Road for several hours Thursday morning due to a fatal motor vehicle incident that occurred at approximately 4 a.m.
A male driver of a pick-up truck died when he lost control of his vehicle, which flipped before coming to rest on its roof in the ditch.
“Our pagers went off at about 4:15 and we headed out immediately,” said Oyster River Fire Department Chief Bruce Green, who was first to arrive onsite.
Green could not speculate as to the exact cause of the crash, but did say the roads were slick.
“There were slippery parts on the road, for sure,” he said. “I had trouble stopping… I ended up sliding past the turnaround on the highway, just past the Black Creek tributary bridge, where I was trying to turn around. I had to go to the next turnaround area.”
Green said when he arrived on-scene, the driver was already deceased.
There was a diesel spill to contend with at the scene.
“There was a tank in the vehicle that had leaked diesel so we had to dam the ditch to make sure that [the diesel] was contained,” said Green.
Traffic was re-routed to Highway 19A for much of the morning. The southbound lane re-opened at approximately 10 a.m.
Green expressed concern regarding the lack of respect given to emergency vehicles on the highway.
“People should slow down and not pass the fire trucks when they are running with their lights and sirens on,” he said. “We had people pass us this morning when we were driving down the highway, at highway speed. It happened twice this morning. I got passed, and the big truck got passed as well.”
Green recorded the licence plates of the offending vehicle and passed the information along to the RCMP.
“We do that, but end of day, we shouldn’t have to worry about taking licence plate numbers down, when we are heading to an MVA at 4 a.m.”