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Vavenby water system back on line following diesel spill

Commercial truck crashed on Highway 5, spilling diesel
A semi-truck crashed on Highway 5 Saturday, leading to an undetermined amount of diesel spilling into the North Thompson River.

By Kamloops This Week

Another crash has occurred on Highway 5 north of Kamloops involving a commercial truck.

The latest incident on Saturday, Feb. 18, led to an undetermined amount of diesel spilling into the North Thompson River north of Avola. Fortunately, the spilled diesel was contained near the site of the crash, with the Vavenby water system back to normal operations after having its water intake closed earlier in the day as a precaution.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District said the truck crashed into the river at about 2 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, with a tow truck driver reporting the incident. The Ministry of Environment contacted the TNRD, which then turned off the water intake for the community of Vavenby at 7:45 a.m. as a precautionary measure and to allow for any needed testing of the water by Interior Health.

At about 7 p.m., the regional district reported that the Vavenby water system was back to normal operations, noting Interior Health confirmed the diesel fuel was contained near the site of the crash. The ruptured tank on the truck had a maximum capacity of 800 litres of diesel.

Clearwater Mayor Merlin Blackwell noted on social media that road conditions in the area were treacherous at the time. Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for the Clearwater area later on Saturday.

There has been no word yet on specifics of the crash, including whether there were injuries.

Avola is about 30 minutes north of Vavenby and Vavenby is about two hours north of Kamloops on Highway 5.

The Feb. 18 incident is the latest in a series of crashes on the highway north of Kamloops involving commercial trucks. There were fatal crashes on Feb. 9 near Louis Creek and on Feb. 2 near McLure, spurring Highways Minister Rob Fleming to contact area politicians to discuss measures that can be taken to improve highway safety.