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October 27, 2017 11:37 pm

Truck and Van Collide on Highway 16 West

Saturday, March 26, 2016 @ 4:28 PM
Pick-up sits off highway behind semi (left) while van occupants gather near emergency vehicles in right lane. Photos 250News

Pick-up sits off highway near traffic sign behind semi (left) while van occupants gather near emergency vehicles in right lane. Photos 250News

Prince George, B.C. – RCMP are investigating a two-vehicle accident which occurred in the 6900 block of Highway 16 west, a short distance beyond Blackwater Road, at about 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon.

Emergency personnel including three ambulance crews responded after a pick-up truck and a mini-van collided on a straight stretch of the highway between the “Welcome to Prince George” sign and Jutland Road.

The accident involved at least seven people, the driver of the pick-up along with at least two adults and four children in the van.  Although the nature of injuries has not been confirmed at this time, a male occupant of the mini-van appeared to be bleeding from a head injury.

Damaged van rests in westbound lane of Highway 16

Damaged van rests in westbound lane of Highway 16

Home towns of the people involved are not known.

Flaggers moved vehicles through the accident site on a single-lane, alternating traffic basis.


Just passed through, all clear as of 5 PM.

oldman1: See what I mean? A clear day, clear dry straight road, painted lines clearly visible, bright daylight. The tools are just fine, in fact couldn’t get much better. Barring any mechanical fault or medical emergency, which is a definite possibility, one of the users didn’t know how to use the tools properly.

    Texting is a huge contribution to many accidents today. Lets take the word accident out, they are collisions caused by drivers doing something other than driving. When they start charging these people with impaired driving, the might straight out. Texting is causing more fatal accidents than alcohol.

    Start driving, ONLY DRIVING, your useless conversation about nothing could have waited, now you and your friends are dead or horribly injured

    I hope in this accident all turns well


Give more– That road you are looking at is a piece of crap and is dangerous. It is narrow with with very little shoulder and it is eroding. This highway should be made one way but then it might not pass. Next time you drive it be sure not to exceed 40K because that should be the max posted speed.

    Are you serious? The highway is not the problem. Drivers have to concentrate on the task at hand. Nothing wrong with the highway at all.

      Well said.

      I guess all one needs is a sign which says “pass with care” and the blame moves away from the highway designers and maintenance crews and onto the drivers.

      Or does it?

      After all, doesn’t the statement of “pass with care” apply at all times?

      If it does, then why does this location require such a sign? What is it about this section of highway that allows passing, but has to have such a cautionary statement on a traffic sign?

      Finally, why is the sign not yellow if it meant to be a warning sign such as reduced speed signs in curves which are at the limit of the posted highway speeds?

      You are absolutely right Griz. These fool with all their computerized equipment have lost their ability to be on the road. Cell phone blockers for the interior of a vehicle are available. Why aren’t they law. They will work in an emergency when the ignition is turned off.

      Quit texting and driving you morons, are you ever going to get it?

      And for all the rest of you, quit blaming truckers for all the accidents, I’ve driven accident free go all my trucking life, making sure you got all your household needs to the store you prefer

      You are welcome

    Sounds like the only place you would consider safe would be the salt flats. What do you do when you come to a corner or a winding, hilly gravel road?

gopg, it’s called common sense and good judgement and paying attention to what you’re doing.
You can flail all you want about signs, doesn’t change your responsibility.

    “Common sense” is not as common these days as it used to be. It is also not a legal term. Driving handbooks are not about common sense. They are about legal regulations. In fact, we would not need regulations and enforcement staff if everyone used common sense while driving.

    The MVA and regs call it “driving without undo care and attention”.

    Highway signs are part of the MVA and Regs. They are legal entities.

    Here is what it says in handbooks about such signs:

    “DO NOT PASS” And “PASS WITH CARE” signs are additional emphasis signs for no-passing zones where the normal no-passing markings are not considered adequate.”

    That is what I was posting about, the signs seen in the picture. I was wondering why the normal no-passing markings were inadequate. Perhaps it is because they are not visible at certain times of the year.

    I believe the speed limit used to be 80 at that location a few years ago. I base that on google streetview images taken in 2012.

      The limit used to be 80 as there was no decel and turning lane into Jensen sub. As a result of a tragic accident the highway was widened and a turning lane put in although I don’t recall when the speed limit was changed.

      There is a pass with care sign there because there is a short area where you can pass after you come out of the curve leading to that straight stretch. Frankly, I don’t know why it is there. You can’t pass before it due to the curve and hill and you can’t pass after it because all of the straight stretch after it is no passing. The area where you can pass should be made no passing and the sign should be changed to reflect that change because passing in that area is dangerous, even though it is legal.

      “The MVA and regs call it “driving without undo care and attention”.

      No they don’t.

      Got a chuckle out of that one “Driving without undo care and attention” Would it be good driving? Or, undoing the care and attention in driving?
      That reminds me, gotta get my google earth upgrade, get the new street view.

      Google streetview also does not show the Pass with care” sign. I suspect it was put in at the same time that the speed limit was increased. As it states in a number of driving education handbooks, the purpose of such a sign is clear, it is a riskier section of road but does not warrant a no passing zone.

      Those signs are very rare when driving between here and the lower mainland.

Tire fell off the truck and nailed the minivan

A tire falling off a truck seems to fit as the damage to the van is not really consistant with a collision.

I would think the Pass With Care sign is not directed to that specific portion of road but more of a reminder to click into highway driving mindset.

As for Oldman 1’s statement that highway “tools” are faulty, while there have not been a lot of major changes to the roads the same cannot be said for the cars. Modern vehicles have traction control, ABS systems and automatic braking will soon be standard making them much safer. The mushy bit behind the wheel is more often than not the weak link.

    Automatic braking is useless to me as you have to buy a new car to get it. In my case, I have no intention of going into debt for another car. Technology is useless if you can’t afford it or don’t want to borrow to get it.

I see we have quite a few pro drivers that are supporting this narrow stretch of highway. So the question is when a tire falls off of a truck in front of you where are you going to go to try and avoid it. Are you going to take it through the windshield ,go into the steep ditch and rollover or slam on the brakes and be rear ended and could be killed in anyone of these ideas.Remember you can not change lanes. If the highway was twinned or wider you may have an option to avoid being killed.

    Where are you from oldman 1 ? I would guess most hiways in BC are still two lanes. And, many are in worse shape than this section.

      Digitus.. The question should not be where I am from but why are the highways in BC only two lanes? This section of road does not look like a highway to me. It looks like paved road to a park or to your cabin at the lake.

    om1 If you drive at half the posted speed limit as you stated earlier-40kph under ideal weather and road conditions then it is you that is the biggest hazard on the road. Drivers behind you become frustrated take more risks passing than they normally would.

    Might be time to consider putting your drivers license in an envelope and surrendering it to the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles or having a restriction limiting you to city streets with a 60k or less speed limit.

    Most roads in northern BC do not have the traffic volume to justify 4 lane divided highways.

    I doubt automatic breaking will detect a moving tire, especially if it is heading towards you.

    The defensive driving course I took for resource road driving (which are highways, btw.) was an excellent one.

    Attentive driving means being aware of your surroundings at all times and measuring the risks as things around you change – other vehicles, especially those approaching you; escape routes if you need to get out of the way – shoulder widths and surfaces, ditches, utility poles, guardrails, signs (any object which could be worse than facing a vehicle in front of you or even an on-coming vehicle); potential moving objects such as large animals on the side of the road or on the road; people; objects falling from a vehicle or coming off a vehicle.

    I had to face one of those situations for the first time just last year. A wheel came off the back end of a pickup truck heading in the opposite direction. It came off about 150 to 200 metres in front of me going down the highway. The pickup maintained its travel direction. It must have had a dual rear tire configuration. The two vehicles were the only ones on that section of the road at the time. At 100km/h, the closing speed is about 30 to 35 metres per second. To reduce that I was able to slow down since there was no one behind me. So I had about 5+ seconds at best to figure out what to do, constantly looking at what the wheel was doing. The distance between the wheel and the truck was increasing, allowing me space to head left. There was a wide enough shoulder to move over. About halfway to the wheel, it turned to its left and cut in front of me to head for the ditch.

    It was a close call. There are some things one can do very little about other than reduce the risk of damage, injury and death. But, if one is not paying attention to the job at hand, it can make it worse …. or better in such cases that reduce the control one has.

    The question then becomes, why does the wheel come off? Mechanic at a shop? The Owner?

      The point I was making was that even though the roads have not changes a lot the cars of today are a lot better equipped to handle things. Bet you could not get a small 4 wheel drive car like your Subaru not too many years ago.

      There used to be a couple of big frost heaves that appeared every year just past where this accident happened. Empty lumber trucks and lowbeds were something to keep your butt puckered if you happened to meet them there, saw everything from loose dunage to 6″ rocks come off I still have a heavy duty bar to tighten as it stopped right in the middle of the road and I picked it up to prevent someone running into it.

      tighten ….the ratchet straps on lumber trucks

Let’s just say the Tire or a Box falls of a Truck your are following , you are going 100kmh and the Truck 100kmh , the Tire will not come to a sudden stop, it will roll or slide but it will slow down. The big Question is, ARE you Following to close, so you can’t stop in time ? Different Story if something falls off driving towards you, hell of time to avoid it !

If a tire falls off of the back of a truck it can bounce and come right through your windshield and kill you and it has happened. A bouncing tire can travel a long distance. Another thing get out of your lane in this area and you may take a head on collision.

No highway, any where, any time, in the entire history of mankind has ever killed or injured anyone!

Highways are inanimate objects. They just lay there, doing absolutely nothing, nothing at all!

My dear old Dad has always said that the vast majority of traffic accidents are usually caused by a loose nut, the loose nut behind the steering wheel!

    So you are saying a highway design never has a factor in an accident?Well I have driven highways over a good portion of the world and can tell you that is not accurate.

      A driver is responsible for how they drive, regardless of highway design. It’s probably a very good idea to slow down a bit while driving on a dark, winding and rain soaked highway.

      Different roads and different driving conditions affect all drivers using the road. Some people adjust better than others! Some people have never had an accident, even though they drive the same roads in the same driving conditions.

      So, is it the highway design a factor for those that are able to navigate safely while others end up in the ditch?

      By the way, I’m not and I wouldn’t wish an accident on anybody!

    “No highway, any where, any time, in the entire history of mankind has ever killed or injured anyone!”

    Most highways in the industrial world have records of frequency, location and severity of crashes. These are presented by rates of vehicle movements as well as rates per length of roads.

    Based on such stats, it becomes very obvious that some highways are safer than others.

    When one takes it through who is responsible it starts from the standards for design, the engineers who design the road, the builders of the roads, the maintenance of the roads, the regulators of the roads.

    Yes, it is a man-made object. Humans are, in the end, responsible. BUT the driver is not where the buck stops at all times. The ideal road is one which is failsafe. Designers are constantly improving the vehicle and the roads in order to do that. If not, we would still be using horse and carriage along a earthen roadways with ruts.

      “Designers are constantly improving the vehicle and the roads in order to do that.”

      The problem is that vehicle designers are decades ahead of those who put improved road designs into physical action. The four laning of Cache Creek to Prince George was a fifty year project approximately fifteen years ago! There are indeed a few sections which have been improved with long stretches of untouched 2 lanes in between. At this snail’s pace – another 25 years to completion – the majority of the entire highway will not have seen the latest safety designs and improvements which would save lives.

      It is unreasonable to use traffic numbers for the only two main highways which traverse B.C. from East to West and South to North. They are the two main arteries, so they should be four laned as promised and as quickly as possible. Canada had enough money to provide hundreds of millions of our dollars for a major supply highway of military standards for heavy convoys from the border with Turkey to Baghdad – any pleading of poverty for OUR own highway safety are totally unacceptable!

I once had a tire fall off the back of a boat trailer driving in front of me near Brookside on this same highway. It was the trailer spare tire unsecured on a access board at the back of the boat. It was about three PM in the afternoon and highway traffic was bumper to bumper both directions.

Tire in said incident bounced on a bump of the back of the access board on the boat, hit the pavement and went directly into oncoming traffic in front of me hitting a SUV destroying the side of it, but the opposing 100km force (200kph total) was like a sling shot and the tire took of like a bullet right at my windshield and I didn’t even have time to brake, but lucky enough for me it had such force behind it that the tire cleared to roof of my truck and went about a hundred feet into the bush. A scary thing to have happen. The guy towing the trailer got charged with an insecure load.

Anything can happen very quickly at highway speeds. Thankfully this stretch of highway is due to be four lanes later this summer… Finally. Only wish they would take it all the way to Mud River.

I stated earlier that it would another 25 years to complete the promised four laning of Highway #97. That was a typo, in fact it will take another 35 years. I have not mentioned Highway #16 yet, which must also be brought up to 21st century highway safety standards. Hopefully those responsible for this are actively seeking infrastructure funding to finally put an end to the delays and all the posturing.

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