A garbage truck with its box lifted struck a pedestrian overpass in Coquitlam B.C. on July 19, causing the bridge to collapse and kill the driver. The Lougheed Highway reopened at about 8:00 p.m.
The 36-year-old garbage-truck driver for Waste Management of Canada died after his vehicle’s box went up and struck the concrete overpass. Witnesses said the driver slammed on his brakes as his truck slid toward the overpass but avoided a collision.
The fatal crash happened at about 11 a.m. near Dewdney Trunk Road in Coquitlam. RCMP Cpl. Jane Baptista said the truck had stopped earlier in traffic about 200 metres from the overpass. When the truck started to move with traffic, the box located at the rear of the vehicle began to rise. It wasn’t known if the box went up by itself or was activated by the driver.
Waste Management of Canada officials are awaiting results of the police investigation.
“As soon as we identify any causes of the accident, we’ll be taking steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again,” said company spokesman Cam Hantiuk. “It’s a terrible event. Our hearts go out to the driver’s family.