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Duncan man presumed dead after rock smashes through his windshield near Lake Cowichan

Nov 08 2012
A Duncan man was killed hit by flying rock debris while driving along Highway 18 Wednesday  on Highway 18. 

A Duncan man was killed hit by flying rock debris while driving along Highway 18 Wednesday on Highway 18.

Photograph by: Times Colonist , Times Colonist

A 52-year-old Duncan man died Wednesday morning when a rock fell from a logging truck and smashed through the windshield of his pickup truck.

The driver and his wife, 51, were heading west on Highway 18 about eight kilometres away from Lake Cowichan when the rock fell from one of two eastbound commercial trucks.

Witnesses travelling behind the pickup told police the rock bounced on the asphalt and broke into pieces. The chunk that smashed through the windshield was about the size of a brick.

With both vehicles travelling at speeds of at least 80 kilometres an hour, there was no time to react, say police, who applaud the man’s wife for steering the truck to the shoulder.

Paramedics took the driver to Cowichan District Hospital, but he later died from his injuries. His wife was not injured.

“You’ve got a combined speed of 160 km/h, so (the rock) becomes a very dangerous projectile at that point,” said Cpl. Darren Lagan of the Island District RCMP. “There is nothing this man could have done to avoid it. It’s very tragic.”

The highway that connects Lake Cowichan and Duncan was closed for several hours as crash analysts investigated the site, near the Skutz Falls Road turnoff.

Police say the driver of the logging truck likely did not see the accident, but officers are still trying to track down the owner of the truck.

RCMP and the B.C. Coroners Service continue their investigation into the accident and are looking for any assistance from the public to identify the logging truck driver. Anyone with information is asked to call South Island Traffic Services at 250-416-0352.

dspalding@timescolonist.com
 

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