Trucking company fined $1,100 after driver skips breaks, crashes fuel tanker

Yukon's Pacesetter Petroleum admitted to allowing a tanker truck driver to work too long without a break, and falsify his daily logs to try to hide it.

Pacesetter Petroleum truck rolled on the Alaska Highway in Yukon in August, spilling 56,000 litres of gasoline

The Pacesetter Petroleum truck was driving north on the Alaska Highway last August when it went off the road near the Rancheria lodge. A tankers ruptured, spilling fuel and forcing a highway closure that lasted several hours. (RCMP)

A Yukon trucking company has pleaded guilty to safety violations, related to a rollover and 56,000-litre gasoline spill on the Alaska Highway last August.

Pacesetter Petroleum pleaded guilty in Yukon Territorial Court to two charges under the Motor Vehicle Transport Act. Two other charges were stayed.

According to an agreed statement of facts filed in court, the company allowed the truck driver to drive too long without a break, and falsify his daily logs to try to hide it.

The driver was en route from Edmonton to Whitehorse in a fuel truck towing two tankers when the rollover happened near Rancheria, about 125 kilometres west of Watson Lake. The crash ruptured one of the tankers, spilling the fuel and forcing a highway closure that lasted several hours. The driver suffered minor injuries. 

Traffic was lined up at points on the Alaska Highway while people waited for the highway to reopen after the August incident. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

National regulations limit commercial driving to 15-hour blocks, followed by a mandatory eight-hour period off-duty. Court heard that the Pacesetter driver was on the road for 41 hours within one 53-hour period, and drove for at least 23 hours straight without a break.   

In court, the company accepted full responsibility. It was fined $1,100, plus a 15 per cent victim surcharge.

The August incident came just two months after another one involving a Pacesetter truck. On June 22, a tanker truck carrying 16,800 litres of aviation fuel rolled over at the intersection of the Alaska Highway and North Klondike Highway in Whitehorse. Some of the fuel spilled and nearby soil was excavated for disposal.

The company pleaded guilty in October to four charges under the National Safety Code Regulations, Motor Vehicle Act and Dangerous Goods regulations in relation to that incident. It was fined $1,250.

With files from Alexandra Byers


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?