A semi truck crashed into the ditch alongside the Trans-Canada Highway near Bernie Road on Dec. 18. The passenger in the sleeper berth was trapped for six hours. (Sicamous RCMP Photo)

Trucker trapped in semi for six hours after Highway 1 collision

Power was cut to much of the area to make the scene safe for emergency crews

A commercial truck driver was trapped in the sleeper of his rig for six hours as emergency crews worked to free him following an accident on Dec. 18.

Shortly after 6 a.m., first responders were called to the scene of the single-vehicle collision, one kilometre west of Bernie Road on a three-lane section of the Trans-Canada Highway west of Sicamous.

Sicamous RCMP report the eastbound semi truck crossed the centre line of the highway, struck the concrete barriers on the far side and smashed through a power pole before going over a steep embankment.

Two men were in the truck which came to rest on its roof at the bottom of the embankment. The driver, a 23-year-old Ontario man, suffered minor injuries and was able to free himself from the wreck; the second man was in the truck’s sleeper berth at the time of the crash and was pinned inside.

Read more: Environment Canada issues snowfall warning and highway alerts across Okanagan

Read more: Travellers beware: Lots of snow coming for Okanagan exits

BC Hydro arrived to cut the power which left Sicamous in the dark for much of the day, but made the area safe for emergency crews. Eagle Valley Rescue Society was called to try to extract the man trapped in the sleeper but they had to call in the assistance of a crane. The trapped man was freed from the wreckage shortly after noon and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

A BC Ambulance Service helicopter landed in the area of the crash but both the driver and the passenger were taken to hospital by ground ambulance.

Sgt. McNeil of the Sicamous RCMP said there had been no fresh precipitation and the road was plowed at the time of the accident.

McNeil added a note of thanks to the Eagle Valley Rescue Society volunteers for getting the injured passenger out of the truck, and also to the Sicamous Tim Hortons, which provided coffee and food for the first responders on the scene.

The right-hand westbound lane of the highway is expected to be closed for part of the day on Dec. 19 as the crashed vehicle is recovered.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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