Submitted by Sgt. G.D. Simpson
At 5:58 a.m. a Sturgeon County, Alta., complainant called the Clearwater RCMP to report that two of her vehicles parked on the frontage road in front of a local hotel on Highway 5 in Blue River were damaged and items were stolen. This took place overnight sometime.
Const. Klassen spoke to the complainant on the phone and learned that the first vehicle was a flat deck trailer carrying reels of electrical cable for the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. The cable didn’t contain copper, which is often targeted for resale, rather, it was aluminum.
The tie-down strap on one reel was cut and the reel was removed, rolled down the road about 200 feet and then the cable was removed (15 meters). No further damage to that trailer or it’s load.
The second vehicle that was damaged was a semi which had its front fenders dented. It appeared that someone had jumped on them. The theft was under $5,000, as was the damage to the fender.
The complainant had checked with other truckers in the area who had dash cams. Const. Klassen contacted the hotel for surveillance. Both vehicles are owned by a delivery company out of Alberta.
Police continue to investigate and are asking any one with information regarding this incident to contact them or Crimestoppers.
Later, at 9:37 a.m., the Clearwater RCMP received a report from the BC Ambulance Service of a single-vehicle collision located in the 9900 block of Highway 24, two kilometres west of McDonald summit. The vehicle had gone off the highway, down a steep embankment and was on fire with people trapped inside.
Constables Klassen and Hall, as well as Sgt. Simpson attended to the scene.
The vehicle involved was a yellow Chevrolet pick-up driven by a 53-year-old Williams Lake man who suffered minor injuries. He was transported by ambulance to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. The only passenger was a 55-year-old Williams Lake female who was complaining of injuries to her ribs and knees. She was air lifted to hospital in Kamloops.
The driver said he was travelling westbound at about 80 kilometres per hour and missed the corner, going off the road left and down the bank, about 50 feet. The vehicle rolled multiple times snapping off eight inch trees and moving boulders about four feet in diameter.
The vehicle was totalled, with it’s tires snapped off, windows smashed out and extensive damage to the body, though there was no intrusion into the cab. Both airbags were deployed.
The driver said they were both wearing seat belts. He added he has trouble sleeping and was tired. He provided a sample of his breath and blew a zero on the alcohol sensing device. A witness travelling behind said the driver was not speeding and simply failed to negotiate the right hand corner and went straight off the highway.
A local towing company attend to recover the totalled vehicle. A violation ticket for fail to keep right was completed and mailed to Williams Lake RCMP to be served upon the driver.
At 1:29 a.m., Clearwater RCMP received a call to assist BC Ambulance Service with a single-vehicle rollover collision that had occurred in Vavenby.
BC Ambulance Service advised the driver, a 51-year-old Avola man, was probably no longer alive. The cab of the truck had been crushed and the lone occupant had no pulse.
Const. Meyer and Const. Van Woudenberg attended and located the vehicle, a grey Chevrolet Silverado, flipped over on the side of the highway. BC Ambulance Service was already on scene and pronounced the driver and registered owner deceased. The driver is believed to have fallen asleep behind the wheel.
A traffic analyst was consulted and not attending. Fire attended and removed the driver’s door with the Jaws of Life prior to the coroner attending. A highway maintenance contractor advised and closed one lane of traffic. The coroner attended with the body removal team. The body was removed from the vehicle and a wallet found confirming the deceased was the registered owner.
A local tow company attended, recovered the vehicle and towed it to their yard. Tracks from the truck prior to the accident scene show the truck veered into the ditch over 200 metres before. An investigation indicates that speed and alcohol are contributing factors to this tragic incident.
Clearwater RCMP responded to 45 calls for service this past week.
Sgt. G.D. Simpson is the detachment commander at the Clearwater RCMP Detachment. Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Clearwater RCMP at 250-674-2237 or, to report anonymously, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.