VIDEO: Highway 1 left looking like winter war zone with dozens of stranded vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

Extreme weather conditions this week saw a large number of vehicles abandoned on the icy stretch of Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack. Dozens of these vehicles are still sitting off the side of the road, including a large rolled-over dairy truck with milky icicles hanging off its hatches.

How long will these stranded vehicles be making the highway’s scenery look like a winter war zone?

That’s up to the individual owners, according to Stefan Brysch, operations manager for Emil Anderson Maintenance Company.

“Generally, vehicle owners are responsible for removing their immobile vehicles from the roadway,” Brysh said. “As long as the stranded vehicles do not present an elevated hazard to the travelling public or impedes our maintenance services, the owners are responsible for organizing recovery.”

“In case a stranded vehicle presents a hazards or impedes maintenance services, the province may get a wrecker recover and impound the vehicle.”

The Ministry of Transportation has introduced a ‘No Impeding Traffic Rule’ between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., according to Brysh. This mean that all the work to remove the wreckage has to take place in the dead of night, while the traffic volume is low.

A ditched car off Highway 1. Tyler Olsen / Abbotsford News.

Consequently, tow services in Abbotsford have been extremely busy, according to several employees at tow-truck companies.

MSA Towing has received around a dozen calls alone, according to Kirpal Banwait, a manager at the company.

“Yesterday there were 30 [abandoned] cars between Chilliwack and Abbotsford,” Banwait said. “We drive by and we can count them easily. You can see them all over.”

Dwayne Robertson works at F & W Towing with his brother Frank. He says Frank has been working non-stop since the extreme weather conditions set in.

“Off the highway [we’ve retrieved] probably been a dozen and a half [vehicles],” Robertson said. “But I mean, we’ve been pulling people out of everywhere, all throughout the city, for the whole week.”

Robertson said safety is a big factor when towing wrecked vehicles off the highway. While they try not to block a lane when retrieving a car, sometimes it’s unavoidable.

“If it’s a bad spot, we’ll have another truck there, kind of as a blocker,” he said. “We all want to go home at the end of the night, right?”

Milk icicles. Ben Lypka /Abbotsford News.

Banwait says that people have to be more careful when they’re on the road.

“When [drivers] hit the brake and they lose control and the vehicle starts sliding, it doesn’t matter what you do,” he said. “[Even] the people with four-by-fours, they go into the ditches too because they think they have power behind the wheels.”

The News has reached out to Vedder Transport to find out when, exactly, the dairy truck’s creamy wreckage will be removed.

RELATED: COLUMN: How to drive on an icy highway (and, maybe, save yourself from the tailgater behind you)

RELATED: 5 to 10 cm of snow still coming to Fraser Valley: Environment Canada


@portmoodypigeon
patrick.penner@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Construction begins on Highway 91/17 improvements in Delta

Project includes new interchanges at Highway 17/Highway 91 Connector and at River Road/Highway 17

North Delta’s Brandon Bassi honoured in throne speech

Former NDSS Huskies captain died following a car crash in Surrey on May 18, 2019

Trade sends Surrey NHLer Brenden Dillon to Washington

‘We felt it was important for us to add a player of his caliber to our defensive group,’ says Caps GM

GoFundMe started for former White Rock man who suffered hemorrhage in Dubai

Family friend suspects hospital bill to be in the hundreds of thousands

Despite evacuation, coronavirus-quarantined White Rock couple still two weeks from home

Government chartered plane to help cruising Canadians return from Japan

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Maggie and Tim: A residential school survivor and her son who died on B.C. streets

Part one of a two-part series on a young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Most Read