Tragic highway death remains a mystery

Police are not sure why a young couple were standing on the highway and did not move out of the way before being hit by a truck.

  • Wed Oct 5th, 2011 1:00pm
  • News

Friends of the man placed crosses on the highway where he died Monday.

Police are not sure why a young couple were standing on the highway and did not move out of the way before being hit by a truck.

A 20-year-old Sparwood man is dead after the commercial truck on Highway 43 hit him and his female friend.

The RCMP say that at about 1 a.m. Monday morning, a southbound four axle dump truck pulling a four axle trailer was coming in to Sparwood when it encountered two people standing on the highway.

The driver of the commercial vehicle reported honking the horn, locking up the brakes and attempting to avoid the couple, before driving off the road.

After leaving the road, the driver got out and went back to the road to discover they had been hit.

The 20-year-old-man died and the 18-year old woman, also from Sparwood, was taken to the Foothills Hospital in Calgary where she remains in a critical condition.

Police have not yet released the names of those involved.

The driver works for a local contractor to one of the mining operations in the area and the vehicle is registered to a company from Prince George.

Sgt. Einor Jorgenson from East Kootenay Traffic Services said the driver is having trouble coming to terms with what happened. “This is a very difficult time for the driver of the commercial vehicle who was emotionally traumatized by this incident,” he said.

The driver told police at least one of the two had looked at the truck before they were hit. Police say at the time they should have had a clear vision of the approaching truck from 300 metres away and cannot yet explain why they did not move out of the way.

The incident took place in a reduced speed zone of 70 km/hour. Weather and highway conditions were not factors in the collision. East Kootenay Traffic Services are working with a Southeast District Collision Reconstructionist to try to figure out what happened.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the young lady who are with their daughter in Calgary,” said Jorgensen. “This is a tragic situation that will take time to investigate and therefore we are asking for everyone’s patience in providing us the time to conduct a through investigation.

“We are not prepared to speculate as to why these two young people made no attempt to avoid the oncoming vehicle. Our hope is that the young lady injured in this incident will be able to shed some light into the actions of herself and the young man she was with.”