PEI

'Everything came to a dead end': Brockton man speaks about crash into collapsed culvert

A Brockton, P.E.I., man is recovering after his car crashed into a collapsed culvert on Route 14 near Miminegash on Tuesday.

Lloyd Ellsworth was going to meet his son when the accident happened

Lloyd Ellsworth says the crash stopped him from fishing and has kept him from his hobbies. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

A Brockton, P.E.I., man is recovering after his car crashed into a collapsed culvert on Route 14 in St. Lawrence on Tuesday.

Lloyd Ellsworth, 64, was heading to the wharf in Miminegash around 5 a.m. to pick up some scallops from his son when the accident happened.

"I didn't get there," said Ellsworth.

The Department of Transportation said on Monday night, highway crews had placed orange pylons around the depression — with the intention of starting repairs the next day.

The department said at the time the pylons were placed the dip was only in part of one lane, with no indication it was spreading. Overnight, the depression spread across both lanes of the roadway.

Ellsworth said there was nothing to stop vehicles from driving into the hole and the pylons were difficult to see at night.

"I seen the pylons and I started braking then everything came to a dead end," said Ellsworth.

Crews repairing the culvert that Ellsworth crashed into. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

'I was getting cold'

After Ellsworth escaped the vehicle he called 911 and lay by the side of the road in pain. The fire department was the first to arrive, draping a blanket over him.

"I was glad for that I tell ya. I was getting cold," said Ellsworth.

Ellsworth was then taken to the Prince County Hospital in Summerside where he was diagnosed with having a cracked sternum and a concussion.

Ellsworth said the pylons weren't enough, the bridge should've been closed.

'It stopped me all together'

Ellsworth said he hasn't been able to do much of anything, except puzzles, since the accident.

Ellsworth says he hit the brake when he saw the pylons, but it wasn't enough to prevent the crash. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

"It stopped me all together cause I usually have hobbies I do and traveling. I was supposed to go this weekend to my daughter's," said Ellsworth before choking up.

"I can't go fishing. I can't fish trout. I can't build my lobster traps."

The Department of Transportation said it is self-insured for damages and liability, and people can seek compensation for damage to cars they believe was caused by roads. 

Crews are now working on repairs, installing a concrete culvert under the road where Ellsworth's car crashed. The province said the bridge will likely remain closed for two to three weeks.

With files from Brian Higgins