A 91-year-old Port Alberni man escaped serious injury after a logging truck taking a right turn onto Stamp Avenue from Roger Street toppled over and spilled its load in Port Alberni.
The truck was on its side and logs had spilled across all four lanes of traffic in front of the Best Western Barclay Hotel, snarling traffic at one of Port Alberni’s busiest intersections just before 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25.
The driver of the logging truck, a 25-year-old man from Qualicum Beach, was also uninjured in the incident. He has been charged with driving without due care and attention under the Motor Vehicle Act, Port Alberni RCMP Cpl. Amelia Hayden said.
The 91-year-old, Bob Gust Sr., had been driving southbound in a small Toyota Corolla in the lane next to the logging truck. He had driven through the intersection and the truck came around the corner “going a bit too fast and over he goes,” said Bruce Duck, a family member who was watching crews clean up logs from the roadway.
“It was a good thing it hit on the passenger side (of the car). If it had hit the driver’s side it would have killed him.”
Gust had seen the load of logs shift and tried to get out of the path by accelerating quickly. Even with this evasive action, the wave of logs still pushed the car several metres down the road and spun it around into the northbound lanes.
“Fortunately, the driver did not sustain any injuries when the logs hit his car,” Hayden said. “The Toyota driver’s observations and quick thinking undoubtedly prevented him from serious injury.”
Traffic was diverted around the intersection and Stamp Avenue was closed from Roger Street to Redford Street as crews worked to remove the logs and the logging truck from the roadway.
This is not the first time a logging truck has spilled going around that corner. A similar accident in the same lane happened a number of years ago. There have been other accidents involving logging trucks on Second Avenue and Fourth Avenue uptown, as well as in front of Victoria Quay.
Trucks have lost their loads going around a corner at Third Avenue and Ship Creek Road, as well as various places on Highway 4 both east and west of Port Alberni.