A logging truck that lost its load in front of a Port Alberni hotel in February had nearly lost its load a couple of kilometres earlier, crossing a bridge over the Somass River.
Dash cam video reveals the 25-year-old driver from Qualicum Beach taking a corner off the Orange Bridge at Falls Street on his left side wheels—the right side wheels in the air.
Charlie Starratt, Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department chief, was approaching Pacific Rim Highway from Falls Street when his dashcam caught the logging truck coming fast off the bridge. He turned left and followed the truck, watching in horror when the truck turned right onto Stamp Avenue from Roger Street and tipped over.
“I was the first one to make the phone call (to 911),” Starratt said. “I followed the truck into town.”
Starratt’s dashcam video shows the truck turn the corner and shift left then fall all the way over, logs spilling over four lanes Stamp Avenue, cars narrowly missing a collision.
“It was scary. It was very lucky both times. The fact the minor injuries that there were was amazing…it was amazing there weren’t more.”
A woman driving a small sedan right behind the logging truck and in front of Starratt was able to brake and stay clear of the logging truck. Another woman coming through the intersection braked hard as logs tumbled off the trailer in front of her. She had two children in her car, Starratt said.
“She hit the brakes and the logs fell in front of her car. It was very lucky.”
Starratt said the driver didn’t feel the truck lose its balance or shift its load after coming off the bridge.
“My first thought when I saw him on the bridge was if that didn’t scare him it sure scared me. He apparently didn’t feel it when he came across the bridge,” Starratt said. He talked to the driver at the accident scene in front of the Best Western Barclay Hotel.
The driver wasn’t hurt, but a 91-year-old man in a car that narrowly escaped the tumbling logs was taken to hospital as a precaution.
The driver of the truck was charged with driving without due care and attention under the Motor Vehicle Act.