The Malahat is open in both directions after a fatal sewage-truck crash Wednesday morning, but long delays can be expected.
West Shore RCMP confirm the driver of a sewage truck was found dead Wednesday morning after police responded to a two-vehicle crash just after 8 a.m.
The crash occurred in the south bound lane of the highway, near the Goldstream Boat House, according to RCMP. The B.C. Coroners Service is in the early stages of the investigation involving a man in his 30s. He has since been identififed by family members as Jonathan Seidel and a GoFundMe account has been started in his name.
The driver of the other vehicle, a blue SUV, was assessed at the scene by paramedics.
Photos from the scene show a sewage truck flipped over and witnesses say a strong smell continues to linger in the area.
UPDATE: @WestshoreRCMP said in a statement they are responding to an overturned vehicle on the Malahat that occurred at 8:10 a.m. Traffic is closed in both directions. #yyj #yyjtraffic #yyjnews
Photo courtesy of Ryan Wettlauer pic.twitter.com/64lp1v6QAi
— Goldstream Gazette (@GoldstreamNews) August 22, 2018
HAZMAT must clean up the sewage spill before opening the highway, meaning motorists should expect significant delays.
“The cause of the fatal collision is under investigation. The sewage spill prevents travel on the highway. We ask for patience from drivers who are affected by any delays as emergency crews deal with the closure of Highway 1,” said Cpl. Chris Dovell of the West Shore RCMP.
Ryan Wettlaufer was driving from Victoria to Duncan as part of his morning commute when the accident happened. He said while he didn’t see the accident itself, the smell from the fluid that was leaking from the truck was unbearable.
He shot this video below.
Drivers trying to use Finlayson Arm Road as a detour will be turned around. Northbound and southbound drivers travelling over the Malahat were previously detoured via the Pacific Marine Circle Route.
Northbound traffic can access the circle route by exiting Highway 1 at the Millstream Interchange, onto Veterans Memorial Parkway, and then travelling along Highway 14 via Port Renfrew.
Southbound traffic can access the circle route via Highway 18 through Lake Cowichan.
— Drive BC (@DriveBC) August 22, 2018
The crash has affected the B.C. Ferries as well. Sailings for the ferry running between Brentwood Bay and Mill Bay are sold out for the rest of the day.
#ServiceNotice #BrentwoodBay – #MillBay #Klitsa Please be advised as a result of the Malahat closure sailings are sold out in both directions for vehicle traffic for the remainder of the day. https://t.co/H4paPJBqPS ^gl
— BC Ferries (@BCFerries) August 22, 2018