Fish truck flips on Hwy. 4

Highway commuters found themselves stuck in a particularly sticky, and significantly stinky, situation when a truck carrying about 9,000 kilograms of fish guts flipped over and spilled its contents onto Hwy 4.

The single vehicle collision occurred about 5 km East of the West Coast junction on July 16 around 11 a.m.

“The semi truck had flipped over onto the driver’s side and slid across the highway, and into the ditch up against a bit of a rock face, spilling its contents,” Const. Marcel Midlane of the Ucluelet RCMP told the Westerly News.

He said the driver of the roughly 20-metre truck was maneuvering through a series of s-turns when a combination of speed and the shifting weight of 9,000 kilograms of fish offal caused the truck to topple over.

“The indications at the scene, and the evidence presented to us, was that speeding was likely a factor in the collision; and the driver was ticketed for speeding,” Midlane said. 

“The last s-turn goes to the right. It’s kind of a sweeping turn and then all of a sudden it gets a little bit sharper…The load was shifting around because it was liquid and, coming through the curves, it was likely that the shifting weight played a factor in the truck going over.”

The driver was transported to the Tofino General Hospital and treated for minor injuries.

 â€œIt was very fortunate there was nobody coming the other direction at that point because the highway was quite busy that day,” Midlane said.

“There was no oncoming traffic, which we’re very fortunate for because we would have likely been dealing with a serious injury or fatality.”

Along with the fish guts, the truck also leaked oil and hydraulic fluid onto the road and Absorb-All—a product similar to cat litter—was used to soak these liquids up, according to Midlane.

“There was some hydraulic fluid and some oil that had leaked out of the truck onto the roadway and all that was cleaned up properly,” he said adding the Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade sprayed down the area.

“They washed the road down, which was full of stink and guts, and cleaned up the area and got some of the slipperiness off the road.”

He said a pumper truck arrived to suck up as much of the mess as possible and the remaining offal was scraped into a ditch and covered with gravel.

BC’s Ministry of Environment was notified as was Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement and no environmental concerns were reported, according to Midlane.

He said the truck was traveling from a fish plant in Tofino and was on its way to a facility in Parksville where the fish guts would have been turned into sea soil.

 

Andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca