Malahat Highway reopens after morning crash that killed sewage truck driver
RCMP say one driver is dead and another injured after a sewage truck collided with another vehicle on the Malahat Highway near Goldstream Provincial Park.
The sewage truck collided with a blue SUV 8:10 a.m. in the southbound lanes of the highway near the Goldstream Boat House.
The driver, a man in his mid-30s, was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver of the SUV was rushed to hospital with undisclosed injuries.
A GoFundMe page has identified the victim as Jonathan Seidel, a driver who worked for DBL Disposal Services. According to a write-up on the fundraising website, Seidel leaves behind a wife and a two-month-old daughter. The campaign had already raised more than $4,500 for Seidel's family after it was launched Wednesday. Officials have not confirmed the identity of the victim.
The crash shut down the Malahat in both directions for about eight hours Wednesday. The route didn't fully reopen until 4 p.m., and drivers were advised to expect major delays due to heavy traffic congestion.
Before it repoened, Hazmat crews and officials from B.C.'s transport and environment ministries were on scene assessing hazards associated with spilled sewage on the highway.
Police say the cause of the crash remains unclear.
"The cause of the fatal collision is under investigation. The sewage spill prevents travel on the highway," said Cpl. Chris Dovell of West Shore RCMP. "We ask for patience from drivers who are affected by any delays as emergency crews deal with the closure of Highway 1."
JUST IN: Drive BC estimates that northbound lanes of the Malahat will reopen at 3:30 p.m. Southbound lanes will remain closed. Next update at 4 p.m. #yyjtraffic— CTV News VI (@CTVNewsVI) August 22, 2018
Before highway lanes reopened, Drive BC said a detour was available to northbound and southbound drivers via the Pacific Marine Route, which connects to Highway 14 and then back onto the Trans-Canada Highway.
Northbound traffic was able to access the route by exiting Highway 1 at the Millstream Interchance, then taking Highway 14.
Southbound traffic was able to access the detour via Highway 18 through Lake Cowichan.
BC Ferries said it was not planning on running a second ferry between Brentwood Bay and Mill Bay to alleviate traffic backups.
The ferry already had a long line-up at 10:30 a.m. in photos posted by Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau.
BC Ferries later confirmed there were multiple sailing waits on the route due to the crash and had dispatched flaggers to assist with traffic. The wait at around 12:45 p.m. was estimated to be six hours, and all sailings were sold out for the rest of the day.
Aside from the Pacific Marine Route, the company suggested motorists trying to get past the crash scene use the ferry routes that connect Swartz Bay with Fulford Harbour on Salt Spring Island, then the Vesuvius ferry on Salt Spring to Crofton.