Two drivers are raising concerns following a gas/diesel mix-up in the Boundary Country region.
Back in December, the diesel tank at a Petro Canada gas station in Rock Creek, B.C., was accidentally filled with gasoline.
“I put fuel in my truck assuming it was diesel on Dec. 27. I drove to Westbridge, and then I drove home, and my truck did not want to start coming home,” said Rock Creek resident Sharon Cartwright.
“I was concerned about it, I did contact a mechanic on Friday, the 30th, and then he called me back and advised me that there was a mix-up with the fuel delivery at the petrol can. He saw the posts on Facebook.”
Meanwhile, Cooper Creek resident Spencer Wells also filled up his truck with what he thought was diesel fuel.
“We drove all the way home, which was 300 km or more, and found out several days later that there was gasoline in the diesel tanks,” said Wells.
“And the way we found out was through social media. No one had contacted us or anything, so we started the ball rolling of making phone calls and trying to figure out how to proceed and who was responsible.”
The tank was filled around Dec. 24 by Alberta-based company G & B Fuels. The mistake allegedly wasn’t discovered until Dec. 30.
“It’s a simple case of driver error putting regular gas into the diesel tank,” said G & B Fuels president Greg Keffer in an email to Global News.
The gas station, though, is a popular stop for travellers along Highway 3 and Wells believes there could be more people out there that were impacted by the mix-up.
“I feel very sorry for other people that haven’t had the time and knowing how to proceed and who to phone and who to bug and pester,” said Wells.
“There’s a lot of people out there affected, I’m sure, that don’t even know what’s going on. And I hope this interview and this story reaches out to people that might have been affected so they know how to proceed and get taken care of properly. I feel there’s a lot of people that are just lost in the dark and don’t know what’s going on.”
Now, almost two months later, Wells says they still have few answers, and his truck is still out of service.
“We went several weeks without a rental vehicle or any compensation. Finally, we got some traction, got a rental vehicle, got the vehicle towed to the dealership for investigation and repair. And it’s been about seven weeks now and our vehicle is still at the dealership,” said Wells.
“Being remote we rely on our vehicles for everything — food, mail, you name it. People out in the rural parts of B.C., obviously rely on our vehicles as much as anyone else or more.”
Cartwright echoes the same concerns.
“It’s been several weeks into this, and nothing has been resolved,” said Cartwright. “We live in the country, we need vehicles, you can’t take the bus to the store or catch a cab.”
Cartwright went onto say that the insurance claim process has been “frustrating.”
Both she and Wells are now stuck driving rental vehicles with no idea when or even if they’ll be receiving full compensation for the damages.
“It’s been horrible. I tell you; it’s just been a nightmare,” said Cartwright.
“I’m still confused as to why I should be responsible to pay any repairs on a truck that was running fine until this fuel was put into it,” said Cartwright.