Officials have ordered a British Columbia trucking company to cease operations as of this afternoon after the company’s sixth overpass strike in two years.
Overpass Strike Wedges Girder Under Overpass
Shortly after noon on Thursday, December 28, the load of a truck traveling south on Highway 99 in Delta, B.C. struck the 112th Street overpass, leaving a girder wedged underneath and causing significant damage to the structure.
One person was hospitalized and is listed in stable condition.
— Megan Devlin (@MegDevlinn) December 28, 2023
Trucking Company Shut Down After Multiple Bridge Strikes
The truck involved in the crash was operated by B.C.-based Chohan Freight Forwarders Ltd.
According to the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Thursday’s bridge strike was the company’s sixth infrastructure crash in two years.
In response, officials have opted to suspend the safety certificate for Chohan Freight Forwarders Ltd.
“This means the company’s entire fleet of 65 commercial vehicles will be unable to operate in B.C. as of 4:30 p.m. (Pacific time) on Friday, Dec. 29, 2023. Furthermore, the driver and the carrier responsible will face the toughest fines in the country. The outcome of the investigation could lead to further action,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
“This needs to stop. We know that the vast majority of commercial drivers in B.C. operate safely and responsibly. However, some operators are not getting the message,” said Fleming.
Company Argues Driver Error Was On Owner-Operator
Chohan told CBC News that the driver involved in the December 28 overpass strike was not a company driver. From a statement released by the company:
“Unfortunately, one of our trucks operated by an owner operator was involved in an accident today in Delta. The driver, who is not a company driver, failed to wait to receive his permit and route directions for his oversized load. At approximately 12:22 p.m., our safety department received a phone call from the driver stating that his load was oversized. Our safety manager advised the owner operator to wait while he obtained the permit. Within eight minutes, the safety manager received a call from the owner operator advising that he had crashed into the overpass.”
B.C. recently increased fines for over-height vehicles from $115 to $575 in an effort to stop bridge strikes.