Driver dead after logging truck plunges into water near Lake Cowichan
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Wednesday, November 15, 2017 2:44PM PST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 15, 2017 6:28PM PST
A driver of a logging truck that veered off a road west of Lake Cowichan and plunged into water has died, an employer confirms.
TimberWest said the fatal accident involved an employee of a contractor working for the company near its Honeymoon Bay operation.
"We express our deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues affected by this tragic accident. A fatality within our forest community deeply impacts all of us," said TimberWest president and CEO Jeff Zweig.
He said the company is working with the RCMP, WorksafeBC and the contractor in an ongoing investigation.
Earlier Wednesday, an RCMP dive team attempted to recover the driver after the accident near Caycuse, west of Lake Cowichan.
The Ministry of Environment confirmed that the single logging truck was two kilometres past the Nixon River Bridge when it veered off the road into standing water.
The truck was reportedly submerged, according to the ministry.
Caycuse Fire confirmed it responded to the accident, which it says happened on South Shore Road near Nixon Creek campground.
Sources tell CTV News water had eroded the road where the incident occurred.
Mounties and search and rescue teams were tasked with a swift water rescue but were unable to locate the driver Wednesday morning.
An RCMP dive team was dispatched for a possible recovery operation just after 11 a.m., with heavy machinery also dispatched to assist.
The ministry said the truck belongs to a sub-contractor for Caatza Logging. There's no indication as to how much fuel or engine fluid spilled into the water, but spill pads were deployed to absorb leakage.
Island Health, First Nations Health Authority and Lake Cowichan First Nation have all been notified of the incident.
TimberWest said it has suspended operations in Honeymoon Bay out of respect for the deceased man and his family, and will be providing support for friends and coworkers.