Wednesday August 18, 2010

Local News

Vedder Bridge Accident Fatal

Hwy 1 closed to traffic for hours Tuesday    

RCMP Files


                                                                                                                                                       Chris Gadsden photos

Highway workers repair guardrail on Vedder Bridge after fatal semi truck accident Tuesday.


he RCMP’s Lower Mainland District Fraser Valley Traffic Services and the Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Services are investigating a commercial vehicle collision at Highway 1 at Vedder Canal this morning (Tuesday).

At approximately 2 am police attended a crash which involved a tractor-trailer truck rolling off the bridge and into the Vedder Canal. The incident closed Highway 1 westbound lanes – police expect a single lane to be open at 10:30 am.

Police confirm that the driver of the commercial vehicle, a 50-year-old Chilliwack resident, was killed as a result of the incident.

Inspector Ted Emanuels, Operations Officer for the RCMP’s Lower Mainland District Traffic Services, says this is the third incident involving a commercial vehicle within the Lower Mainland in a 24-hour span.

Yesterday morning a dump truck collided with the centre median on Highway #1 east bound at the Capilano exit area in North Vancouver. Yesterday evening a dump truck overturned on Highway #1 264 off-ramp. There were no injuries in the first incident and only minor injuries with the second one.

“Up until August 11 this year, we’ve had 192 fatalities as a result of traffic crashes in the province, and 54 of those were in the RCMP-policed areas in our Lower Mainland District,” says Insp. Emanuels. “Thirteen percent of those fatalities in the LMD involved a commercial vehicle.”

While he can’t speak to the cause of these three recent crashes, Insp. Emanuels cautions drivers to always give commercial vehicles extra room on the road. “There are no minor commercial vehicle collisions,” he points out.

Lower Mainland District Traffic Service conducts monthly commercial vehicle inspections throughout the region, in addition to ongoing daily enforcement. Inspections and enforcement include issues such as seatbelt compliance, mechanical fitness, driver fitness compliance etc. The RCMP also partners with other agencies to do targeted enforcement.

“At the beginning of June we had a three day enforcement initiative we participated in with our provincial partners – Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement,” says Insp. Emanuels. Based in Hope, the focus was on mechanical conditions of commercial vehicles.

Investigators are still gathering information about the causes of the three recent commercial vehicle crashes. However Insp. Emanuels points out there are some basic precautions that all drivers – include commercial vehicles drivers – can take.

“Despite a seatbelt wearing rate in BC in excess of 90%, 45% of all fatalities still involve unbelted occupants,” he says. “In addition – 37% involve drugs or alcohol impairment and 37% involve speeding or driving too fast for road conditions.”

“The statistics really say it all.”

Inspector Ted Emanuels, Operations Officer, RCMP Lower Mainland District Traffic Services 604-598-4230

Police photos below.

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