Police say speed and slick roads were likely factors in a fiery crash that sent a trucker to hospital and choked off the Wednesday morning commute across the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing.
Just before 4 a.m., police received word of the truck overturned on the Dollarton Highway off-ramp from Highway 1. The truck had been carrying drums of used cooking oil.
“A large commercial truck had tipped over and was on fire at the time that we got there. Fire, ambulance and police responded, and the driver was rescued. He was taken to Lions Gate with minor injuries,” said Sgt. Doug Trousdell, North Vancouver RCMP spokesman.
Police closed the Ironworkers northbound for several hours and allowed only one lane of southbound traffic while crews dealt with the fire, which was no small task.
“We had four pumpers respond to it, two from North Van district, two from Vancouver. All four of the trucks used all of their water supply that they had on board to extinguish the fire,” said acting assistant fire chief Kit Little.
All that was left of the truck’s cab was charred and twisted metal, which took several hours to remove. The crash also dealt heavy damage to the guard rail, though the bike lane and sidewalk remained open.
By rush hour, all lanes were open again, with the exception of the Dollarton off-ramp, which Trousdell said needed to be closed for much of the day.
“I gather there (was) a diesel spill they are trying to be very careful about how they clean up,” he said.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
“They have ruled out impaired (driving) or mechanical issues as the cause of the accident and are still investigating speed, or speed relative to the weather conditions, as possible contributing factors to the collision,” he said.