WATCH: A frightening close call with a logging truck in the Alberni Valley is renewing fears around safety and Port Alberni’s mayor says she is shocked by what the dashcam video reveals. As Skye Ryan reports, it was recorded just minutes before a serious incident involving the same truck.
Logging trucks coming and going from the woods are a common sight in the bustling forestry community of Port Alberni.
“Oh there’s lots of them,” said Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire department Chief Charlie Starratt.
There is also growing fear around the big rigs now too. In the wake of several recent crashes and now a close call caught on dashcam video, the city’s mayor is urging forestry companies to take action.
“I was horrified when I saw the dash cam video,” said Port Alberni Mayor Shari Minions.
“I couldn’t believe it because in two points of the dash cam video you actually see the wheels of the logging truck come off the road,” said Minions.
It was Charlie Starratt, chief of the Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department, who captured it on Feb. 25 as he drove down the road into Port Alberni.
The dashcam video shows a logging truck’s right wheels clearly leave the road around a corner and almost lose its load.
“My initial thought was if that didn’t scare you, it scared me,” said Starratt.
“Because I thought wow that was very close.”
So Starratt followed, and five minutes later, that same logging truck did lose its load, crashing onto its side and spilling its logs all over busy Stamp Avenue.
“It was scary,” said Starrat.
“Just those big loads it was just pure luck that no one was seriously hurt in that incident. In the video that stops just behind him that’s coming through the intersection that was a young girl with a couple of kids in the car and just a matter of seconds difference and it could have been a different story,” he said.
Port Alberni’s mayor says the video is spreading like wildfire through Alberni and other drivers are describing scary encounters themselves. Since downtown streets are a major route for logging trucks, Sharie Minions says major forestry companies need to so a crackdown on safety and fast.
“These are city streets,” said Minions.
“This is not a highway and this kind of driving is not acceptable in our community.”
The driver of the logging truck in the dashcam video was ticketed for driving without due care and attention.
CHEK News’ calls to Mosaic Forest Management, the Timberland manager of Timberwest and Island Timberlands were not returned for comment.