A semi truck driver was tragically killed in Canada late last week when his truck collided with the Coquihalla overpass near the city of Merritt. Witnesses to the crash at the intersections of Highways 5 and 97C called for the Merritt branch of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, reporting the fiery aftermath of the crash.
The witnesses had reported that they saw the driver trapped inside the cab of the vehicle as the flames started. However, the fire quickly spread before they could attempt to get the man out of the truck, cutting him off from rescue. RCMP Constable Tracy Dunsmore reported in an official release, “The driver had been unresponsive upon arrival and there was extensive damage to the front end of the vehicle.”
It appears that the driver collided with a support post on the overpass. However, the exact cause of the accident is still being investigated. The Merritt RCMP have said they are not releasing the name of the driver, pending identification and notification of the driver’s family.
The lack of details illustrates just how chaotic a semi accident can be, even when there isn’t a collision between the truck and another vehicle. This incident also shows just how devastating such an impact can be, even for the vehicle and the driver of the semi. These trucks carry a lot of fuel, and when that fuel is gasoline instead of diesel, the resulting fire can be extraordinary. True, there are reports where semi drivers are completely uninjured in accidents due to the massive vehicles all around them, but a fire can get hot enough to warp metal, sucks all the air out of the area, and can creep through the seams around doors.
In short, there is no safe place to be during a semi accident, and all too often these impacts end in tragedy, as in this unfortunate case.