Police blocked off 20 Avenue between 152 and 154 streets Friday evening

South Surrey site worker cited for impaired driving

Alcohol a factor in construction-site incident in South Surrey that toppled a piece of heavy equipment.

A Vancouver man was cited for impaired driving last week following a construction-site incident in South Surrey that ended with a piece of heavy equipment on its side in a ditch.

RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet said it was sheer luck that no one was hurt.

“It’s very fortunate that nobody – including the operator – was injured in this, for sure,” Paquet told Peace Arch News.

Police were alerted to the incident at 5:30 p.m. Friday, when Surrey firefighters requested assistance at a scene in the 15300-block of 20 Avenue.

According to the police report, a tractor/forklift toppled into a small ditch as it was being used to deliver building materials to an upper floor of an under-construction townhouse.

Paquet said an officer at the scene suspected alcohol may have been a factor after speaking to the 55-year-old equipment operator. The operator then failed a roadside breath test and was handed a 90-day driving suspension; the vehicle was impounded for 30 days.

Paquet said it is “not often” that police impound construction equipment. Owners of such equipment may apply to have those requirements lifted if the equipment is needed for business, he said.

Police blocked the road to traffic between 152 and 154 streets for much of Friday evening, while tow crews dealt with righting the vehicle.

Paquet described it as “quite a technical operation,” given the proximity of overhead power lines and the size of the vehicle. BC Hydro was onsite as a safety precaution, and power in the area was out for about an hour.

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