Creston Museum, Creston BC  Creston Museum, Creston BC

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Cyril's Truck

Width: 1024    Height: 685    Type: image/jpeg    Updated: 09/28/2013 07:01

Short: Cyril's Truck

Cyril Colonel's haul truck, loaded with a semi-truck he pulled off the Kootenay Pass highway - one of the first transport trucks to lose its brakes on the hill.

"The pass itself was well-engineered but the engineers did not include runaway lanes, lanes where if a truck operator lost his brakes he could escape up the lane and maybe save being a total wreck and personal injury or maybe death. The construct contractor saw there was a problem and installed one. This is the one that is most noticeable to this day. This lane was a relief but it had a very slight curve in it. At one hundred or so miles an hour things don’t steer that well.

"The second wreck I personally witnessed. I was descending the hill and was approximately 300 yards above the runaway lane. I was watching in the mirror and noticed a semi truck come around the first curve behind and above me. It straightened out fast and I saw smoke coming from the wheels. I pulled over as far off the road as I could and stopped, as it appeared that if I continued I would be blocking the runaway lane. In the time it took me to stop I only had time to look in the mirror and see him pass and it looked like there were two men in the cab, a driver and a passenger. What I next saw is difficult to explain. It looked like something ridiculous that may be manufactured for a motion picture. The driver hit the runaway lane perfectly but where the lane curved to the right a little it left the lane and hit the stumps and it was just like an explosion. The whole load of feed destined for Fruitvale left the truck completely into the air as the truck bounced so high I could see trees under it. The truck cab then nosedive towards the ground with the trailer following. Try to imagine the velocity of the impact as many of the bags of feed ended up on the highway below."

Both driver and passenger survived the accident.

Photo and story courtesy of Cyril Colonel

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