Parked truck rolls away, smashes into side of house in Richelieu, Que.
Truck rolled some 500 metres through the centre of town before hitting house
A driverless 18-wheeler smashed into the side of a house in Richelieu, in Quebec's Montérégie, after taking a turbulent ride through the middle of town overnight Tuesday.
The truck rolled approximately 500 metres down Richelieu Boulevard, knocking over two lampposts before crossing a parking lot, clipping some parked cars and hitting the side of the home located at the intersection of 2nd Street.
Nobody was injured in the incident, but there was damage to municipal infrastructure, cars, the truck and the small, clapboard-sided residence.
Richelieu fire department chief Martin Gougeon told CBC News that authorities believe the driver, a man in his 30s, forgot to apply the brake before entering a Tim Hortons he'd parked across the street from.
The truck loaded with juice cartons was parked about 120 metres further up the road from the Tim Hortons on Richelieu Boulevard, said Gougeon.
"When he got his order, he turned around and his truck was rolling down the boulevard with nobody in it," he said.
Dur réveil cette nuit pour les occupants de cette maison sur le boulevard Chambly <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/rcmtl?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#rcmtl</a> <a href="https://t.co/G7eECiZliM">pic.twitter.com/G7eECiZliM</a>—@pascalrobidas
At first, the driver thought the truck was being stolen, Gougeon said. The man tried unsuccessfully to catch the truck as it rolled down the street, toward the Richelieu River.
Gougeon said the house's sole resident was inside sleeping.
"His room is on the other side of the house. He was woken up by a lot of noise."
Before removing the truck from the home, emergency crews inspected the building's structural integrity carefully to avoid further damage, said Gougeon.
"We had two big tow trucks that worked on it for a couple of hours," he said, adding that the weight of the loaded truck made the work difficult.
"It was a tough job for them."
Crews were also called in to clean up the spilled diesel fuel, he said.
Richelieu Boulevard, also known as Route 112, is a four-lane road running through the centre of town, located about 35 kilometres east of Montreal.
With files from Radio-Canada and Lauren McCallum