Road collapse from heavy rain leads to logging truck fatality near Lake Cowichan


WATCH: Details are emerging about the lead up to the fatal logging truck accident Wednesday morning near Lake Cowichan. Mary Griffin has more.

There are now more details about the fatal logging truck collision on Wednesday morning.

The BC Coroner’s Service is now handling the investigation into the fatal incident, which took place sometime between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. yesterday morning.

The collision took place two kilometres past the Nixon Creek bridge, three kilometres west of Caycuse, near TimberWest’s Honeymoon Bay operations.  A significant portion of the road reportedly collapsed underneath the truck. The vehicle then appears to have rolled down an embankment, plunging into this deep pool of water.

Responders with Caycuse Fire Department, the RCMP and Cowichan Search and Rescue were unable to save the driver. The driver was in his 60s and had been a driver for many years. He was employed by Lake Cowichan-based Kaatza Logging and was a sub-ontractor TimberWest.

READ MORE: Driver dies after logging truck plunges into water near Caycuse

According to Environment Canada, the area received a significant amount of rain this week. Twenty-eight millimetres fell on Nov. 12 and 42 mm on Nov. 13. In the 24 hours leading up to the fatal accident, 103 mm of rain fell. Over the four days, there was more than 200 mm of rain, or eight inches.

TimberWest issued a statement from President and CEO Jeff Zweig following the collision.  It states, “We express our deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues affected by this tragic accident. Operations have been suspended out of respect for the deceased and his family, and to provide support to friends and colleagues.”

A spokesperson from WorkSafeBC says there have been 12 logging-related fatalities on Vancouver Island since 2012. That figure includes this week’s death. And this is the first fatality for TimberWest since 2011.

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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