A fatal crash on Vancouver Island has stopped traffic in both directions of the Malahat highway, closing off the only major route between Victoria and Nanaimo.
West Shore RCMP confirm the driver of a sewage truck was found dead Wednesday morning after police responded to a two-vehicle crash just after 8 a.m.
The crash occurred in the southbound lane of the highway, near the Goldstream Boat House, according to RCMP. The coroners service has been called to the scene.
The driver of the other vehicle, a blue SUV, was assessed at the scene by paramedics.
Photos from the scene show a sewage truck flipped over and witnesses say a strong smell continues to linger in the air.
UPDATE: @WestshoreRCMP said in a statement they are responding to an overturned vehicle on the Malahat that occurred at 8:10 a.m. Traffic is closed in both directions. #yyj #yyjtraffic #yyjnews
Photo courtesy of Ryan Wettlauer pic.twitter.com/64lp1v6QAi
— Goldstream Gazette (@GoldstreamNews) August 22, 2018
HAZMAT must clean up the sewage spill before opening the highway, meaning motorists should expect significant delays.
“The cause of the fatal collision is under investigation. The sewage spill prevents travel on the highway. We ask for patience from drivers who are affected by any delays as emergency crews deal with the closure of Highway 1,” said Cpl. Chris Dovell of the West Shore RCMP.
Ryan Wettlaufer was driving from Victoria to Duncan as part of his morning commute when the accident happened. He said while he didn’t see the accident itself, the smell from the fluid that was leaking from the truck was unbearable.
CORRECTION – #BCHwy1 is CLOSED in both directions 500 meters north of Goldstream Provincial Park because of Vehicle Incident. Assessment in progress. No detour or estimated time of opening. Next update at 10:00 AM. https://t.co/YVo6c13xVO #Malahat
— DriveBC VI (@DriveBC_VI) August 22, 2018