Pierre Trottier holds a photograph of Rosie, the seven-month-old border collie he had with him when he went into the North Thompson River in mid-January. Unfortunately, the dog passed away 15 hours after the crash, apparently from internal injuries. Photo by Keith McNeill

Man survives truck going into river in winter

Seven-month-old border collie dies 15 hours after crash

By Keith McNeill

The successful recovery of a pickup truck from the North Thompson River last week brought back memories to Pierre Trottier.

It was his truck and he was driving it at the time it went into the river.

READ MORE: Workers recover pickup from river (Mar. 9, 2018)

“I could have been killed three times,” he said. “First, when the truck hit the boulders at the side of the river, second from drowning as I swam to shore, and third from hypothermia after I got out.”

His dog, Rosie, a seven-month-old border collie, survived the crash with him but died 15 hours later from apparent internal injuries.

The incident occurred on Jan. 14 at about 1:40 in the afternoon.

Trottier had been living in a trailer court in Kamloops but had received an eviction notice because his dog was two inches too tall for the park’s maximum.

In the interim he had been staying at a cabin he owns in Blue River. He was on his way from Blue River to Kamloops for a hearing to appeal the eviction notice.

He was pulling a utility trailer with his 2004 F150 when he hit a patch of black ice about 20 km south of Avola.

“I went right, then left, then right. The third time I blew through the bank and landed on the river’s edge on some three-foot rocks. The windows just blew out. I was very happy that Ford makes good doors.”

Trottier found himself floating down the river in his pickup as the cab filled with freezing water.

“I saw some rapids ahead and I knew I had to get out. It was only about 15 feet to the shore but I was wearing heavy boots and a down jacket. Luckily, I was a competitive swimmer when I was a kid. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have made it.”

When he got to the ice shelf along the shore he found his dog was there too.

“It took me three tries to get onto the ice sheet,” he said. “Then I went and got my dog.”

“After that, things kind of go blank. Three East Indians from Surrey stopped on the highway, came down and got me, but I don’t remember that.”

The three put him into their van and gave him dry clothes to wear.

He and his dog were transferred to an ambulance, which took them to the hospital in Clearwater.

“The ambulance attendants used all 18 of their heating pads on me during the drive to Clearwater,” Trottier recalled.

After being stabilized in Clearwater, he was taken by ambulance to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.

The doctors there checked him over again and then released him.

Trottier’s former wife and their son came to get him and gave him a place to stay for the night.

“We got to their place about 12:30,” he said. “I tried to sleep but Rosie kept whimpering. At 5:30 she made some choking noises. I got up and she died in my arms.”

Even though his dog is no longer a problem with the trailer court operators, Trottier says he no longer wants to stay there.

A former CN conductor who used to travel regularly between Kamloops and Blue River, he is in the process of moving to Blue River and selling his trailer in Kamloops.

“At my place in Blue River I could have 10 dogs and no one would complain,” he said. “I really miss my Rosie.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Water drips out of Trottier’s truck as a crane lifts it up onto the riverbank during a recovery operation on March 7.

Just Posted

Jean and Lloyd Strickland are Citizens of the Year

Over 60 individuals, organizations and businesses nominated in eight different categories

It’s time to turn in the drug dealers

We know or someone close to us knows where the drugs were bought

Bridging the gaps between us

There is a renewed appreciation of the village of Avola

PHOTOS: Seniors learn about interesting topics

Wells Gray Seniors Society learns about how to deal with difficult people

Mystic Dreams fashion show a hit!

Sold-out audience enjoys show at Clearwater Legion Hall

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

B.C. pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions from around B.C. for National Puppy Day 2018

Alberta tells B.C. to stop opposing pipelines if it doesn’t like gas prices

John Horgan said he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices.

B.C. mother hit in truck rampage dies

Family confirms mother of four Kelly Sandoval dies almost two months after being hit.

Walking from Argentina to Alaska

Holly ‘Cargo’ Harrison is now in northern B.C. on his journey from Argentina to Alaska.

Most Read