The recovery of a rolled-over dairy truck on Highway 1 was estimated to cost more than $500,000. More than 40,000 litres of milk was lost, with an estimated value of $50,000. Ben Lypka/ Abbotsford News

Rolled-over dairy truck in Abbotsford lost 40,000 litres of milk

Truck removed Sunday, Jan. 19, with specialized equipment to upright vehicle

“There’s no use crying over spilt milk” is a saying that probably doesn’t apply when 160,000 glasses’ worth are lost in a single Highway 1 crash.

On Sunday night, a large rolled-over dairy truck was recovered from the side of Highway 1 just east of Whatcom Road, where it had been sitting wrecked since the morning of Jan. 15.

The milk hauler’s recovery was valued at over $500,000, and approximately 40,000 litres of milk was lost, a spokesperson for the BC Milk Marketing Board said in an email. At $5 for a four-litre jug of milk, the total dollar amount in spilled milk would be over $50,000 alone.

The spokesperson said the crash occurred on Jan. 15 at around 2 a.m. following a snowfall, icy roads and blowing snow. This was five hours before the highway was closed from Chilliwack to Abbotsford.

“A third-party transport truck moved in front of the milk hauler. This led to blind conditions, which caused the milk truck to leave the roadway,” the BC Milk Marketing Board said. “We’re pleased to report the driver is fine and will recover.”

Abbotsford Police put out a warning on social media that morning, just before the highway was closed, to warn drivers to stay home due to the treacherous conditions. They said emergency crews were having trouble reaching all the stranded drivers.

The dairy truck was removed between 7 and 9 p.m. on Sunday because it was the safest time to remove the vehicle and not impede traffic, said the BC Milk Marketing Board.

“Specialized equipment is needed to upright the truck and tanker to save it from being a complete loss.”

It was one of the last wrecked vehicles to be removed from the highway, which was littered with dozens of vehicles abandoned throughout last week.

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

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

“[On Jan. 17], 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 his brother was working non-stop as soon as the extreme weather conditions set in.

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

In the period from Jan. 3 to Jan. 19, 70 per cent – 32,412 out of 46,095 – Dial-a-Claim calls to ICBC came from the Lower Mainland.

RELATED: 70% of ICBC calls in the last two weeks came from Lower Mainland

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?”


@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

Child care planned for Vernon schools

Proposal for four facilities at area elementary sites

Majority of students back in Vernon classrooms

Vernon School District reports 95 per cent of students returned amid COVID-19

Fewer people, but more visits added to Vernon museum

‘Often, you may have the entire museum to yourself and your group, which could be very cool.’

Travel from Coldstream to Lake Country along Kal Crystal Waters trail

Completed extension on Kal Crystal Waters trail uses historic highway

Major UBCO bus changes from Vernon eliminate Oyama, include Kelowna

Oyama Isthmus loop removed, stop across from Kelowna airport added

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

Interior Health reports four new cases of COVID-19

First hospitalization since mid-August announced

Rail traffic starts moving after 60-car derailment near Hope

Clean up effort ongoing after 60 cars carrying potash crashed along a rail bridge

Spoon-wielding man draws police presence in Penticton

Police say no one was harmed during the incident

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Most Read