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Driver error blamed in overpass crash

Crews work on clearing a gravel truck lodged under the 152 Street overpass, well into the evening hours Monday. - Lance Peverley photo
Crews work on clearing a gravel truck lodged under the 152 Street overpass, well into the evening hours Monday.
— image credit: Lance Peverley photo

A 65-year-old Surrey man is facing charges under the Motor Vehicle Act in connection with an incident Monday on Highway 99 in which a tandem gravel truck impacted the 152 Street overpass.

Deas Island RCMP Sgt. Evan Albert confirmed Tuesday that charges are pending, and likely to include driving without due care and having an insecure load.

The truck was northbound on the highway when it hit the overpass around 2 p.m. Sept. 19. According to witnesses, the truck's front trailer tipped upwards about a kilometre south of the overpass, spilling gravel onto the highway.

The driver reportedly slowed and attempted to right the load – as other vehicles backed off – but did not stop.

The impact "would have been a pretty sudden stop," Albert said, noting the driver suffered minor injuries.

Cause of the trouble has been traced to driver error, he added.

"We know what happened: obviously, his container went up when it shouldn't have. It would appear to be a driver error, as opposed to mechanical."

The northbound lane of the highway was closed for several hours while crews dealt with the crash. The truck was finally cleared from the scene around 10 p.m. Monday, Albert said.

While overpass traffic was not interrupted by the crash, officials from the highways ministry were on-site throughout the investigation and did inspect the bridge for structural damage, he added.

The ministry's Kate Trotter said Tuesday the assessment noted superficial damage to one of the overpass's concrete beams, and repairs are scheduled for next week. Cost of the work is unknown, however, the trucking firm will be responsible for it, she added.

Albert described the incident as "something you don't see everyday."

"Usually when you get trucks hitting the overpass, it's their load that's too high."

 

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