A truck driver is dead after going off of Highway 5 and down an embankment just north of Vavenby sometime before 7 a.m. on Tuesday, April 17.
The semi he was driving was southbound at the time of the crash and it crossed the northbound lane before going over the bank.
“It was unfortunate that the driver lost his life,” said RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Mike Pears. “On the other hand, it was fortunate that no one was in the other lane at the time. That could have been catastrophic.”
Although the investigation is ongoing, including a mechanical inspection of the truck, Pears said it appears at this time that the most likely cause of the crash was either driver inattention or falling asleep.
He said the man was believed to be from the Lower Mainland but could not confirm a report that he was from Surrey. He also could not release the victim’s name.
Police, highway rescue and ambulance attendants went to the scene but found the man dead when they arrived.
The unnamed man, the lone occupant, was driving a black Volvo semi-truck with a white trailer pulling a 53-foot trailer loaded with peat moss when police say he “failed to negotiate a curve.”
Road and weather conditions do not appear to be a factor, Pears said, and there was no evidence at the scene to suggest drug or alcohol impairment.
The highway was closed for most of Tuesday morning and was open to single lane traffic only until late in the afternoon.
The driver’s family has been notified, and police are asking for any witnesses who may have seen the driver traveling south on Highway 5 between Blue River and Vavenby to contact Central Interior Traffic Services at 250-674-2237.
Before he joined the RCMP, Mike Pears lived in Clearwater from 1980 to 1992. He worked at a local retail store and with BC Ambulance at the time.