A Canada Post driver was taken to hospital in serious condition after a piece of ice fell through the windshield of his truck at the George Massey Tunnel Friday afternoon.
BC Emergency Health Services and RCMP say they were called to the southbound lanes of the tunnel near the Richmond side around 1:45 p.m.
“It appeared ice had gone through the windshield and injured the driver,” Const. Omar Hamidi with the RCMP’s Port Mann Highway Patrol said.
RCMP said in a later release that the driver is a 49-year-old man from Surrey who was alone in the vehicle at the time.
Pictures of the Canada Post truck show a massive hole through the driver’s side of the windshield.
Hamidi said it’s not yet clear where the ice came from, but multiple callers to Global News, CKNW and AM730 Traffic said they saw the ice fall from the beams above the approach to the tunnel.
“We are continuing to investigate in an attempt to determine the source of the ice,” Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet of the B.C. RCMP said in a statement.
A southbound lane was closed as police and paramedics attended to the driver and cleared the scene. The lane has since reopened.
The Ministry of Transportation said in a statement that its crews have driven through the tunnel and have assured it is safe for drivers, adding it could not find any other fallen ice.
“The tunnel has been in operation for over 50 years and we’ve never experienced an event like the one described today,” the ministry said.
“However, the ministry takes such concerns seriously and is conducting a full assessment, continuing to monitor conditions at the tunnel and weather, as well as working closely with the local police.”
Global News has reached out to Canada Post and WorkSafeBC for further comment.
Falling ice or “ice bombs” have been an ongoing issue as heavy snow and wind has battered B.C.’s South Coast since last week, but have been centred on the region’s bridges.
Since the snow started, ICBC says there have been 88 claims related to falling ice and snow on the Port Mann Bridge, 50 on the Alex Fraser, and three on the Golden Ears.
The Massey Tunnel has yet to be included in the unfortunate winter trend, which Hamidi says he’s never heard of himself.
“This is a first, I don’t think I’ve seen anything like this before,” he said. “Definitely a first in my six-year career.”
RCMP is asking to speak with any witnesses to the incident, including anyone with dashcam video.