The creamy wreckage of the dairy truck which crashed on Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack. Ben Lypka / Abbotsford News.

VIDEO: Highway 1 to look like winter war zone until owners retrieve wrecked 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 hazard 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 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

VIDEO: Abbotsford Agrifair shares more about Drive-Thru Safari concept

Agrifair officials lay out plans for annual event, which runs from July 31 to Aug. 2

Professional basketball in Canada begins return to action with COVID-19 testing

Abbotsford’s Fraser Valley Bandits, six other CEBL teams arrive in Ontario for Summer Series

Chilliwack RCMP seeing surge in telephone-based tax scam

Victims are phoned by someone claiming to represent the Canada Revenue Agency, demanding money

19 times on 19th birthday: Aldergrove teen goes from crutches to conquering Abby Grind

Kaden Van Buren started at midnight on Saturday. By 3 p.m. he had completed the trek 19 times.

Chilliwack Chiefs alum Jordan Kawaguchi named captain of North Dakota Fighting Hawks

The high scoring forward will lead UND into the 2020-21 NCAA Div-1 hockey season

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner brings ‘objectivity’ to the job

Vancouver lawyer Reece Harding is Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner, also a first for B.C.

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read