Submitted by Sgt. G. Simpson
At around 6:19 a.m., Sgt. Simpson was advised by dispatch of a single-vehicle collision on Highway 5 in the westbound lane near Burman Road in Birch Island.
A one-ton 2011 Dodge flat deck truck pulling a flat deck trailer, both registered to a business out of Edmonton, had inadvertently driven off road right and into the ditch. This caused the load of “T” bar fence posting on the trailer to shift and then spill off into the ditch.
There was nothing blocking traffic, however the 30-year-old male driver out of Grand Prairie was complaining of a sore back.
A 33-year-old Vavenby woman stopped to assist and called 911. She believed that the driver might be under the influence of an intoxicant due to his condition and not wanting police or ambulance. Although she did not smell any alcohol, she was suspicious of a bottle of Pepsi he was drinking from.
Upon Sgt. Simpson’s arrival on scene, he spoke with the complainant, whose assistance was very much appreciated, and then the driver. After several standardized investigative procedures it was determined that the driver was not under the influence of any intoxicants.
The driver advised that as he was travelling west on this straight and flat portion of the highway, it was very foggy and difficult to see the roadway. He noted the headlights of a semi unit coming towards him and felt that it was encroaching upon his lane. In an effort to avoid a collision he moved over to his right not realizing how far over he’d moved, eventually driving into the shallow ditch and losing his heavy load.
There were no witnesses and no serious injuries. There was some minor damage to the vehicle and a temporary, portable traffic control sign. No charges were laid as it was noted that the fog was so thick it was difficult to see the road lines. The vehicle was eventually driven out of the ditch with no issues other than one flat tire on the tri-axle trailer.
Clearwater RCMP responded to 28 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.