B.C.’s chief coroner will hold an inquest into the death of a West Vancouver motorcyclist killed in a logging truck accident last fall.
On Oct. 18, Hugh Roberts, 65, was riding his motorcycle on Highway 99 near the intersection of Nordic Way in Whistler when an oncoming logging truck lost control on a bend in the road and overturned. The truck’s load of logs spilled onto the roadway and struck Roberts.
The coroner inquest’s jury will listen to testimony given under oath, similar to a trial, about the facts surrounding Roberts’ death and make recommendations aimed at preventing future deaths under similar circumstances.
“I hope that through our loss and the resulting inquest, necessary safety improvements will be made in the trucking industry,” said Roberts’ widow Mary in an email to the North Shore News.
The police investigation into whether there should be any criminal or Motor Vehicle Act charges is still ongoing, according to a Whistler RCMP spokesman.
Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said she is “very pleased” to hear the coroner has called an inquest.
“The concern that we had was someone lost their life by a logging truck losing its load in the middle of the municipality of Whistler, on a very busy Saturday afternoon,” she said.
Wilhelm-Morden said she does not have any hopes for specific recommendations from the inquest, as long as they result in greater public safety.
“I understand log hauling is done around the province in a very safe manner most of the time but the circumstances of this accident . . . were enough to cause us a great deal of concern,” she said. “We want some answers first of all into why the accident occurred and then we want some assuredness that it won’t happen again.”
No date has been set for the inquest.