The driver of a logging truck died after his vehicle went off the road and into standing water near Caycuse B.C. early Wednesday morning.
According to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Strategy, a logging truck went off the road into standing water beside the roadway Wednesday, two kilometres past the Nixon Creek bridge. The bridge is three kilometres west of Caycuse. The vehicle is reportedly submerged and an RCMP diving team was dispatched for a possible recovery just after 11 a.m. Heavy equipment crews were also called to the area.
Cowichan Search and Rescue said they were contacted around 5:30 a.m. after a logging truck went off the road into water. The group stood down after it was discovered that the truck was submerged. RCMP and fire crews also attempted a swift water rescue but were unable to find the driver.
TimberWest confirmed that the driver was an employee of a contractor working for TimberWest near the Honeymoon Bay operations adjacent to Lake Cowichan.
“We express our deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues affected by this tragic accident. A fatality within our forest community deeply impacts all of us,” Jeff Zweig president and CEO of TimberWest, said in a statement. “We are working closely with the RCMP, WorkSafe and our contractor on the investigation.”
The driver’s identity has not been released. TimberWest said operations have been suspended out of respect for the driver and his family, and to provide support to friends and colleagues.
According to the ministry, there is no indication as to how much fuel is onboard the truck due to the vehicle being submerged in the water. However, a sheen on the water and a diesel odour have been reported. The fire department is using spill pads to deal with the leakage.
The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) and Lake Cowichan First Nation have all been notified.
More to come