A B.C. truck driver says he narrowly avoided causing a major accident after his windshield was hit by a flying object while driving, which he says was thrown by teenagers.
Michael Bordeleau has been driving trucks for 15 years, currently with Pacific Coast Distribution. He and another trucker typically drive back and forth between Vancouver and Alberta.
On Friday night around 11:20 p.m., Bordeleau was on Highway 1 headed towards Vancouver driving a truck loaded with flammables. His partner was driving a short distance behind him.
As he approached the Peardonville Road overpass in Abbotsford, Bordeleau says he saw two figures up above who he thought looked like teenagers.
“All of a sudden my windshield explodes,” he recalled Sunday. “I was covered in glass, and I had to keep my eyes squinted because I wasn’t sure if there was glass in my eyes or anything.”
Bordeleau was somehow able to keep his truck steady until he was able to pull over a short distance ahead. His windshield was shattered at his eye level.
“Had it come right through, it would have killed me.”
Bordeleau describes the object that hit him as a “boulder,” but the object was not recovered.
After pulling over and ensuring his partner was OK, Bordeleau met with an RCMP traffic officer, who told him police could offer little help.
“It was disappointing, but he said ‘there’s not much we can really do,'” he said. “‘Even if we see two guys, we can’t prove that they dropped it.'”
That officer, Const. Phillip Paterson, told Global News the object was likely a fist-shaped rock based on the damage to the windshield.
“This is the first one I’ve had of someone recklessly throwing an object at a vehicle,” he said. “This is seriously concerning.”
Bordeleau says he’s astounded the incident didn’t result in a serious collision.
“Had I flipped over it, you know, I would’ve killed more than just one person,” he said. “There was a residential area. There was a shopping mall right next. I had flammables that could’ve caught fire. There were chemicals.
“It could have caused such a disaster.”
Dave Earle, president and CEO of the BC Trucking Association, says while such incidents are rare, they still happen to truckers more often than they should.
“The average driver is doing well over 100,000 kilometres of driving a year, so this does happen,” he said.
“It’s extraordinarily dangerous and risky, and over the years we have seen people killed during these types of incidents. I hesitate to call them that because these are deliberate and conscious acts.”
Bordeleau says he’s still shaken up by the incident and is now on the hook for repairing the damages.
He also has a clear message for anyone who would deliberately drop an object on a moving vehicle.
“It’s just the dumbest thing anybody can ever do,” he said, speaking directly to the alleged culprits. “You realize the carnage you could have caused?”
Const. Paterson urged anyone with information about who may have been responsible to contact RCMP.
—With files from Julia Foy