A semi-truck driver, who had been trapped inside his mangled truck after it fell down a 100-foot embankment two days ago, was finally rescued by Hope Search and Rescue crews late Thursday.
On the morning of March 1, Hope RCMP received a report of an overdue truck driver last seen on Feb. 28 just after 11 p.m. Police began an investigation and enlisted the help of SAR teams and Air Services in attempts to locate the truck and driver, but were not able to locate him at that time.
Just before 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, a semi-truck matching the description of the vehicle driven by the overdue driver, was spotted down a steep embankment in the area of Rhododendron Flats in Manning Park.
Crews were busy on the scene trying to extract the driver but were having difficulties maneuvering around the truck, which was fully loaded with wood chips. Emergency personnel knew the driver was alive, but was apparently trapped hanging upside down inside the cab of the truck with the steering wheel wedged against his mid-section, making him unable to move.
“He’s very badly trapped in the truck,” said Jamie Davis, whose towing company helped to extract the driver. “It’s in a very difficult spot.”
Cst. James Halliday of the Fraser Valley Traffic RCMP said the driver’s situation shows a “testament to his will to survive.”
After the lengthy and difficult rescue, Hope SAR, with the help of the BC Ambulance Service, was able to remove the driver from the truck.
The driver was taken to hospital, where he remains with life-threatening injuries.
RCMP describe the semi-truck as an international tractor with a B-train configuration, which consists of two trailers linked together by a fifth wheel. B-train trailers are considered very stable and are used to transport many types of loads in the logging and forestry industry.
Fraser Valley Traffic RCMP are continuing to investigate the cause of the accident.
At the time of the rescue, Highway 3 was open to single-alternating traffic but is now fully open.