A driver lost control of a Loblaws semi-trailer early Friday morning on the Inland Island Highway, and it ended up in a ditch. A photo shows workers dealing with the flipped rig. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Loblaws apologizes after flipped semi-trailer closes North Island highway

Crew worked for eight hours to transfer groceries from overturned rig

Loblaws is apologizing to residents of a Vancouver Island community after a semi-trailer containing a load of groceries flipped on Highway 19 last Friday.

Nobody was injured in the crash south of Campbell River, but traffic was disrupted on the highway for 15 hours.

“We apologize to the residents of Campbell River for the inconvenience this caused,” said Karen Gumbs, director of public relations for Loblaw Companies Limited.

Gumbs confirmed in a Feb. 4 email that the driver of a Loblaw trailer lost control on Friday morning, “causing the trailer to flip on its side and block the Inland Island Highway.”

She said the company is “currently inspecting the contents of the trailer and based on our food safety protocols we will determine if the food is suitable for sale, donation or disposal.”

The incident caused all northbound traffic to be detoured. Meanwhile, southbound traffic was reduced to a single lane as workers transferred a shipment of groceries into waiting trailers.

READ MORE: Southbound bridge across Campbell River now seismically sound, says province

It appears that the driver of the truck “left the road, … went into the median there, tried to correct and he flopped it right over in the median and the fast lane,” said Damian Girard, road manager for Main Road North Island, which holds the provincial highway maintenance contract for the area.

The driver managed to exit the cab through the windshield, which had been smashed by the driver or possibly a firefighter, he said.

The driver was unharmed, and no other vehicles were involved, Girard said. The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Girard said he was alerted to the incident at around 2:30 a.m. Workers from Main Road had a detour in place by about 3 a.m., but traffic on the highway was disrupted for about 15 hours, he said.

“We did everything we could to get the highway open as soon as possible,” he said.

READ MORE: Speed limit hikes caused more fatalities on B.C. highways – study

A crew from Coastline Towing and Transport spent about eight hours emptying the trailer and transferring the goods, said Nelson Christensen, operations manager for the Campbell River-based company.

The flipped semi-trailer contained a “full load of groceries that was destined for the Superstore” in Campbell River, he said.

“Everything had to be hand-bombed out, pretty much one package at a time, and then what we did is we stacked it all on pallets, shrink-wrapped them all, loaded them back into our trailers, and they were shipped back to the Lower Mainland to the supplier.”

Asked if it was a messy job, he said most of the groceries were in pretty good shape.

“Probably 90 per cent of it was salvaged without any loss,” Chistensen said. “There was probably a pallet of lost products, and that was it, out of the whole truck.”

READ MORE: Southbound bridge across Campbell River now seismically sound, says province

After the goods had been transferred, the company righted the truck and trailer, and then towed them both away, Chistensen said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Workers unload a grocery truck Friday morning after it flipped in the median, forcing the closure of both lanes northbound and one southbound lane of Highway 19. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Just Posted

ARTS AROUND: High energy fundraiser brings Brazil to the Alberni Valley

The Aché Brasil Dance troop is equal parts music, dance and spectacle

Enjoy a spooky Halloween weekend in the Alberni Valley

There are many Halloween-themed events taking place in Port Alberni this weekend

Port Alberni’s Black Sheep Rugby Club granted tax exemption

Talks continue about city’s new permissive tax exemption bylaw

Investigation sheds light on Nahmint logging

Forestry ministry denies claims auctioned timber violates protective status

Celebrated storyteller Mike Downie brings Secret Path to Port Alberni

Presentation takes place at Alberni District Secondary School on Oct. 25

VIDEO: Is the stethoscope dying? High-tech options pose threat

World-renowned cardiologist believes the device is just a pair of ‘rubber tubes’

85-year-old woman perishes in house fire in Cumberland Wednesday

Police and fire personnel were called to the scene of a fire… Continue reading

‘Cartoony’ mushrooms popping up across Vancouver Island are highly poisonous

Fly Agaric mushrooms can cause hallucinations, gastrointestinal pain and death

Beers on the job, smacking crotches: 10 police misconduct probes in B.C.

Recent report by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner highlights a number of investigations

Seizure of cannabis edibles, including mac-and-cheese, prompt warning from B.C. RCMP

Potato chips, cheesecake and candy infused with cannabis also seized back in August

B.C. parents sue city and province in 12-year-old daughter’s drowning at lake

Beverly Park drowned at Rotary Lake in Dawson Creek in August 2016

Island mom warning others as suspicious powder found in mail

“I was very uneasy … it could be coffee whitener or it could be something else in the bag.”

VIDEO: Chill with polar bears through an Arctic live cam

Cam reopens just ahead of Polar Bear Week

Most Read