British Columbia

Dashcam footage of logging truck tipping over has city looking for new freight routes

Dashcam footage of a close call with a logging truck that tipped over and lost its load on a bustling main road in a Vancouver Island city is igniting the debate about safety on the streets.  

Mayor of Port Alberni says community was shocked by recently released video

Mayor of Port Alberni Sharie Minions says speed was a factor in the accident but it's not the first time a logging truck has crashed in the city. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

Dashcam footage that shows a logging truck tipping over and losing its load on a bustling main road in Port Alberni, B.C., is igniting the debate about safety on the streets of the Vancouver Island city.  

The video of the February accident, which was released this week, shows the logging truck going around a sharp corner and its two right wheels lifting off the ground before the driver regains control.

Minutes later, the truck is shown turning another corner and crashing onto its side. A large load of logs spills onto the road and nearly hits a car.  

"My first thought was, 'oh my God, was somebody killed?," said Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions. "It's a horrific thing to happen."

Logging truck takes corner on two wheels before completely tipping over minutes later

Although no one was seriously injured in the crash, the footage drove home the safety risks all the more to the city's residents.

"I think that our entire community was shocked when we saw that video [this week]," Minions told Gregor Craigie, the host of CBC's On The Island.

"It was so much more impactful to see that dashcam footage and it really shows you the danger of how that person was driving and what could have happened."

The driver was later given a ticket for driving without due care and attention.

"The challenge for us is that this is not an isolated incident," said Minions. "We've had other situations on our city streets where dangerous driving has led to logging truck accidents like this."

No easy alternatives

Port Alberni has debated the safety risks about logging truck traffic within city limits for years.

The problem, Minions explained, is that there's no easy way to reroute the trucks. 

Some of the alternative routes are residential streets near schools or commercial areas that are being revitalized.

Forestry is a major sector on the island, but Minions said she expect logging companies to support moves to improve safety on the roads.

"I think that the industry, and certainly our local logging companies, would be very supportive if we wanted to pick a trucking route," she said.

"But we have had no commitment or expectation at this point that there would be any kind of financial support for that."

At this point, the municipality would bear the financial brunt of any roadwork.   

"There's no good route for us to choose right now — they all have significant challenges and, then of course, the cost," Minions said.

"But this incident certainly makes me think we need to revisit those conversations."

Dashcam footage of a close call with a logging truck that tipped over and lost its load on a bustling main road in a Vancouver Island city is igniting the debate about safety on the streets.   7:29

With files from On The Island and Megan Thomas


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