WATCH: A cheerful, kind man and devoted father has been identified as the victim of the fatal logging truck crash at Lake Cowichan. Friends say Ian Fraser had been a logging truck driver for over 30 years in the Cowichan Valley and was known for how safe he was when torrential rains knocked out a bridge he was crossing Wednesday.
Memories of their friend, as well as shock, are overwhelming truckers across the Cowichan Valley as they learn of the tragic death of Ian Fraser.
“I couldn’t believe it, Ian was the nicest guy,” said his longtime friend Ted Boyles. “I’ve known him since he came here and I’ve been here almost 80 years.”
“Yeah one of the best,” said close friend Rich Bennett.
Fraser, who was known for his safety was the victim of the crash near Timberwest’s Honeymoon Bay Operations early Wednesday morning. In the darkness and pouring rain, his logging truck hit a washed-out road and plunged down into a watery ditch.
“Good friend, good worker, everything,” said Bennett.
“Yeah it’s a sad day,” said Cody Alan, who is a mechanic at P & R Truck Centre and regularly worked on Fraser’s logging truck.
“Everyone must do what they’ve gotta’ do because everybody feels really bad for his family is the hardest part,” said Alan. “You could just tell he had a heart of gold.”
The tragedy has Fraser’s longtime friends thinking of all the close calls they had in the woods.
“There’s always near misses out there,” saiD Bennett. “Oh yeah all the time, it’s nothing new you’re either sliding off the hills out there on ice or snow or battling rain and mud and bad roadS.”
Boyles did crash one day and carries around the pictures to remind himself what he escaped.
“It did one complete roll and landed in the water,” said Boyles. “It really brings it back now soon as what happened to Ian because I would have been upside down in the water too.”
They say Fraser knew the danger very well and was planning on retiring.
“He said ‘I’m gonna do it for one more year and then I’m going to retire’ and that was about a year ago. So he was close,” said Boyle.
“Probably would have gone through to this winter shut down I would hazard a guess,” said Rich Bennett.
Several investigations are now underway to determine what led up to Ian Fraser’s tragic death.