Icy road conditions lead to multi-vehicle collision on Highway 5

Police report for first week in January, 2023

By Sgt. Grant Simpson

Clearwater detachment commander

Members of the Clearwater RCMP responded to 40 calls for service in the first week of January.

On Friday, Jan. 6, at 5:10 a.m. a 26-year-old Birch Island man called the Clearwater RCMP to report a motor vehicle collision located in the 8000 block of Highway 5, Little Fort B.C. The complainant, who was not a witness to the collisioin said that a pickup truck appeared to have had collided with a semi truck. Everyone was out of their vehicles and OK. Const. Klassen was called out to attend. BC Ambulance and Little Fort Fire attended as well.

Const. Klassen learned through the investigation that a 26-year-old Prince George man was northbound in the pickup when he went around a corner and observed the semi approaching who was partially in the northbound lane. The front driver side of the pickup collided with the rear driver side of the semi trailer causing severe damage to the pickup including the front driver tire being ripped off. All the air bags went off but no intrusion into the cab. Fortunately the pickup driver was wearing his seatbelt.

There was general damage to the rear driver side of the semi including the tire being ripped off. The semi was being driven by a 68-year-old Winnipeg man who had a co-driver sleeping in the sleeper at the time of the collision. The semi was drivable.

The pickup driver said he was travelling 90 – 100 km/h and the semi appeared to be going faster than that.

The roads were clear and dry. The pickup, which is owned by a Prince George logging company, was towed by our local tow company as it was totaled.

Dash cam footage from the semi is being made available. Impairment was not a factor in this collision, however, the investigation is ongoing.

On Sunday, Jan. 8, 202at 8:02 a.m. 53-year-old Edmonton man called the Clearwater RCMP to report a multi vehicle collision in the 3500 block of Highway 5. This was about 10 kilometres south of Avola, B.C. The caller said that a semi truck had gone into the ditch and was on its side, blocking the northbound lane with its trailer. Shortly after this initial call, a 66-year-old Avola resident called in advising that several other semi trucks had jack-knifed and entered the ditch as a result of the first semi doing so. The roads were reported to be very icy.

Const. Klassen attended. A 28-year-old Surrey man had been driving his semi north and lost control on the ice, entering the northbound ditch. He also had a passenger who uninjured.

A 53-year-old Edmonton man was driving an empty semi flat deck south and stopped to assist. A 29-year-old Edmonton man was southbound driving his Chevrolet flat deck pulling a trailer with a loaded c-can on it and went into the northbound lane to slow down and avoid being hit by the vehicle coming up behind him.

The last vehicle was a tow truck being driven by a 58-year-old operator out of Hope.

The tow truck was pulling a semi tractor unit. This tow truck could not stop in time and hit Lthe two vehicles, shoving them all into the ditch. The initial semi had come to a rest against a B.C. Hydro pole. All vehicles were eventually removed from the ditch. Photos were obtained, and a scene sketch completed. No violation tickets issued to anyone due to road conditions.

The highway was shut down for at least four hours in order to safely manage this collision scene and clean up.

Sgt. Grant Simpson is the detachment commander of the Clearwater RCMP Detachment

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