Before and after photos of Langley driver Matt Ruscheinski’s truck that was crushed by a boulder near Spences Bridge, B.C. on Jan. 18. Matt Ruscheinski photos

Boulders ‘the size of beach balls’ crush B.C. driver’s semi

Matt Ruscheinski recounts terrifying ordeal along Fraser Canyon

A wayward boulder has stalled truck driver Matt Ruscheinski’s career for the time being.

The 44-year-old Langley resident, who has been hauling modular buildings for the past 20 years, was driving his custom-built truck past Spences Bridge, B.C. on Jan. 18 when his rig was crushed by a falling boulder.

Ruscheinski, who said he is stiff and sore from the accident and recovering at his Langley home, is now waiting for ICBC’s decision, since his truck was totalled by the giant rock.

“It happened super fast,” Ruscheinski said, about the incident in the Fraser Canyon.

“Basically, I was driving down the highway in a straight stretch of road for a little ways and I saw boulders the size of beach balls coming off the side hill.”

He has seen small rocks fall and hit the ground in his past travels, so with no traffic in sight, Ruscheinski moved his truck to the centre of the road to avoid them “in case any of them bounced on the road a little.”

But just as he was approaching the small rocks, an entire section of the rock wall gave way.

“Everything fell right in front of me,” Ruscheinski said. “It was literally in the blink of an eye. I don’t even think I was able to hit the brake pedal before I hit the rock.”

Ruscheinski said the sound of the boulder hitting the front driver’s side of his truck “was a giant crunching noise.”

“I went from 80 km/h to nothing in about three feet,” Ruscheinski said. “It was instant. Thank God I had my seat belt on.”

He says his back and left shoulder are pretty sore from the accident, because of the way his seatbelt grabbed him and pushed him back.

“I took the dashboard to the leg and my left hand took a pretty good wallop between the dashboard and the windshield, because I was holding onto the steering wheel,” Ruscheinski said.

While he has been stuck behind fallen rocks, waiting for highways to reopen, this is the first time Ruscheinski has been directly involved in a rockslide

“I’ve been stuck behind mudslides and the odd avalanche, stuff like that, but nothing like this,” Ruscheinski said. “I’ve never been in any kind of accident, anywhere close to this.”

Ruscheinski said he’s lucky to be alive, but unlucky in the sense that he had just finished building his truck.

“I’ve been in the industry for a lot of years, but this is kind of my first step into going in as an owner/operator,” he said. “It’s a little stressful now, at this point.”

Ruscheinski said ICBC has already declared the accident an “act of God.”

“It wasn’t my fault or anything, but I still haven’t heard back from them as to what, or when, or how they are paying me out or anything, so basically I’m sitting in limbo, not making any money while they’re figuring their stuff out,” Ruscheinski said on Thursday, Jan. 24.

“It’s not like you can make another truck appear. It’s not like you can go and rent one of these trucks anywhere to go back to work. I’m kind of stuck waiting.”



troy.landreville@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Alberni teen band Stranger Than Fiction to open for Said the Whale

Stranger Than Fiction will open on Sept. 26 in Nanaimo and Sept. 27 in Campbell River

Comedy show in Port Alberni raises funds for local charity

The Human Condition Comedy Tour will be at the Rainbow Room on Sept. 19

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District to hear feedback on cannabis production

Bylaw amendment could limit cannabis production in the district

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs pick up first win of the season on home ice

Bannister, Bosse play the heroes in ‘close’ game with Nanaimo

UPDATE: UVic students killed in Bamfield bus crash were from Winnipeg, Iowa City

RCMP also said a second vehicle was in the area at the time of the collision

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Vancouver Island man bikes through B.C. Interior for mental health, addiction awareness

Vancouver Island Resident Mat Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

Police investigate after intoxicated teens clash with security at B.C. fair

18-year-old woman arrested and RCMP looking at possible assault in Victoria-area fall fair incident

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

BC SPCA investigating after three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Psychiatric assessment ordered for man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

Lawyer tells court accused was diagnosed with psychosis hours after his arrest

Most Read