Box truck damaged after hitting notorious Victoria bridge

Box truck damaged after hitting notorious Victoria bridge
Ray McIllree
A box truck struck the E&N rail line bridge in Vic West on Saturday, according to a nearby resident.

Ray McIllree was sitting at his computer when he heard the familiar sound of crunching metal.

“This one wasn’t as good as usual because he only just crunched the top,” says McIllree.

For more than 40 years, McIllree has lived on Hereward Road in Vic West, right near a 3.7-metre tall bridge that passes over the street. Countless cars and trucks have travelled under it without a hitch over the years. But every once in a while some have gotten stuck.

“I’ve lived here 42 years almost now and I’ve probably seen at least that many,” McIllree says about the number of times a truck has hit the notorious bridge.

On Saturday, just before noon, it happened again. This time it was a yellow box truck.

“He was coming at a good clip because he made it through and crunched the whole roof. He must’ve been going a decent speed,” recalls McIllree. “The back door was falling off the truck a little bit, but he was still able to move.”

Police were on scene for about 15 minutes and everything was cleared relatively, according to McIllree.

“It was pretty straightforward,” he says.

There are actually two bridges side-by-side that pass over Hereward Road. One is the much newer E&N trail bridge that was only built about 10 years ago and is slightly taller, and the other is the older railway bridge, which is the one bigger trucks often end up hitting.

“The whole house shakes when a truck hits the bridge,” McIllree says. “It’s a little bit traumatic.”

There have been so many instances of trucks hitting the old bridge that locals refer to it as the “can opener” due to the fact that roofs on box trucks and semi-trucks usually end up being torn off.

“I feel every one because I am right beside it,” says McIllree, who has spoken to CHEK News previously about the bridge.

RELATED: Another truck gets stuck under rail bridge in Vic West

The last time a vehicle struck the bridge was more than a year ago and according to McIllree, there hadn’t been one since the city installed more warning signs last year.

“It’s been kind of a long time since we’ve had one,” he says. “My roommate and I were just talking about how we hadn’t had a truck crunch for a while we were thinking maybe the signs were finally working.”

That is until Saturday.

“It’s crazy,” says McIllree.

One solution, says McIllree, would be for the city to install a bar that is the same height as the bridge but further down the street on either side.

“If you hit the bar, don’t go that way and that would stop them,” he says. “We’ve had a number of trucks over the last month that have had to back up because they’ve come to the bridge and realize they can’t get through.”

CHEK News has reached out to the Victoria Police Department for additional details and comments regarding this incident.

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Nicholas PescodNicholas Pescod

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