West Kelowna  

Truck hauling excavator damages Highway 97 overpass on Westside

Truck strikes overpass

A truck towing an excavator took a chunk out of a Highway 97 overpass in West Kelowna on Tuesday morning.

The arm of an excavator being hauled by a truck bearing MJI Contracting Inc. branding hit the Westside Road overpass, damaging it, sometime before 10 a.m.

The truck pulled over at the side of the highway after hitting the structure. RCMP and provincial highways contractor AIM Roads attended and were seen dealing with the load.

Jennifer Redekop says she was the second car following the rig that hit the overpass and described the incident as "absolutely terrifying."

"Bits of concrete showered over my car and pieces were flying over the road. I had to swerve to avoid the worst contact...It's pure luck that it did not cause a serious accident and that no one was hurt," she said.

Castanet News has reached out to police and the Ministry of Transportation for comment.

Overpass strikes have become somewhat of an epidemic in B.C. in recent years, especially in the Lower Mainland.

This is the 12th overpass or bridge strike by a commercial carrier in B.C. this year, according to a provincial database.

Redekop says companies responsible for overpass strikes should be significantly fined, "obviously something needs to change to make sure the public is not being put at risk."

The last overpass strike in B.C., which occurred Sept. 19 in North Vancouver, resulted in $3,500 in fines for the trucking company.

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