More than a few people got nailed on the highway in West Vancouver Monday night and it wasn’t for speeding.
According to police, around 8:45 p.m. the driver of a semi pulling two trailers full of construction materials bound for Squamish lost his load just north of the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal.
“The load appears to have shifted at this point while the truck was rounding a corner and subsequently lost a pallet containing tens of thousands of nails in both the north and southbound lanes,” said Const. Kevin Goodmurphy, West Vancouver police spokesman. “The trailers themselves suffered 12 flat tires running over their own load of nails. … Numerous vehicles did drive through the spilled nails and obviously suffered damage to their vehicles, mainly flat tires.”
When West Vancouver police arrived, investigators found “numerous commercial motor vehicle infractions,” Goodmurphy said.
Officers hammered the driver with one violation ticket and a notice requiring the truck and trailers be certified by a commercial vehicle inspector before they can be back on the road.
Police had to close the highway for two hours and set up a detour off the highway via Horseshoe Bay Drive while Miller Capilano Highway Services crews dealt with the mess.
Far from using electromagnets and metal detectors, cleanup crews were doing it the old-fashioned way, said Steve Drummond, Miller Capilano vice-president.
“We had a loader out there. We had guys with brooms. We had a street sweeper once most of the nails were picked up,” he said.
It was almost 5 a.m. before the cleanup was done, Drummond added.
“We’ve got a lot of nails in our yard. It’s something that doesn’t happen very often,” he said with a laugh.
Drummond said he was confident there were no stragglers remaining.
It’s just lucky no one was injured, Goodmurphy said.
“It is odd. It is different but at the end of the day, it did pose significant risk the public, given the damage it caused and could have caused,” he said. “It’s so important to ensure that your loads are always safely secured on your vehicles, no matter what you’re driving, but especially with commercial vehicles.”
The trailers are branded with home improvement retailer Rona’s logo. A statement from the company on Tuesday afternoon denied there were any violation tickets issued.
“We were not charged with any infractions, but were asked to make certain repairs related to load security and the tires that were blown due to the nails,” the statement read. “We can confirm that the truck trailer was recently inspected for its annual inspection and deemed safe for the road. We are also conducting an internal investigation to clarify the cause of the incident so as to prevent incidents like this from reoccurring.”