A driver lost control of a Loblaws semi-trailer early Friday morning on the Inland Island Highway, and it ended up in a ditch. A photo shows workers dealing with the flipped rig. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Loblaws apologizes after flipped semi-trailer closes North Island highway

Crew worked for eight hours to transfer groceries from overturned rig

Loblaws is apologizing to residents of a Vancouver Island community after a semi-trailer containing a load of groceries flipped on Highway 19 last Friday.

Nobody was injured in the crash south of Campbell River, but traffic was disrupted on the highway for 15 hours.

“We apologize to the residents of Campbell River for the inconvenience this caused,” said Karen Gumbs, director of public relations for Loblaw Companies Limited.

Gumbs confirmed in a Feb. 4 email that the driver of a Loblaw trailer lost control on Friday morning, “causing the trailer to flip on its side and block the Inland Island Highway.”

She said the company is “currently inspecting the contents of the trailer and based on our food safety protocols we will determine if the food is suitable for sale, donation or disposal.”

The incident caused all northbound traffic to be detoured. Meanwhile, southbound traffic was reduced to a single lane as workers transferred a shipment of groceries into waiting trailers.

READ MORE: Southbound bridge across Campbell River now seismically sound, says province

It appears that the driver of the truck “left the road, … went into the median there, tried to correct and he flopped it right over in the median and the fast lane,” said Damian Girard, road manager for Main Road North Island, which holds the provincial highway maintenance contract for the area.

The driver managed to exit the cab through the windshield, which had been smashed by the driver or possibly a firefighter, he said.

The driver was unharmed, and no other vehicles were involved, Girard said. The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Girard said he was alerted to the incident at around 2:30 a.m. Workers from Main Road had a detour in place by about 3 a.m., but traffic on the highway was disrupted for about 15 hours, he said.

“We did everything we could to get the highway open as soon as possible,” he said.

READ MORE: Speed limit hikes caused more fatalities on B.C. highways – study

A crew from Coastline Towing and Transport spent about eight hours emptying the trailer and transferring the goods, said Nelson Christensen, operations manager for the Campbell River-based company.

The flipped semi-trailer contained a “full load of groceries that was destined for the Superstore” in Campbell River, he said.

“Everything had to be hand-bombed out, pretty much one package at a time, and then what we did is we stacked it all on pallets, shrink-wrapped them all, loaded them back into our trailers, and they were shipped back to the Lower Mainland to the supplier.”

Asked if it was a messy job, he said most of the groceries were in pretty good shape.

“Probably 90 per cent of it was salvaged without any loss,” Chistensen said. “There was probably a pallet of lost products, and that was it, out of the whole truck.”

READ MORE: Southbound bridge across Campbell River now seismically sound, says province

After the goods had been transferred, the company righted the truck and trailer, and then towed them both away, Chistensen said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Workers unload a grocery truck Friday morning after it flipped in the median, forcing the closure of both lanes northbound and one southbound lane of Highway 19. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Just Posted

Sooke’s First Nations have Iroquois links

References to the proud Iroquois race tend to make one think of… Continue reading

Police-run Youth for Change and Inclusion camp bids fond farewell to tireless directors

Founder Sgt. Paul Brookes has run camp empowering youth and creating leaders for 16 years

Canadians not afraid to take the plunge for the second time

Most will wait almost five years before remarrying

John Cleese sets fall date for Victoria return

June show sold out, comedic actor returns Nov. 4

Famed Syrian artist displays paintings created while living in refugee camps

Farid Abdulbaki’s ‘Between Two Worlds’ exhibit will be displayed May 24-26 in Victoria

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Most Read