Lumber spill on Hospital Hill. (Roger Knox - Morning Star) Lumber spill on Vernon’s Hospital Hill (Highway 97, 32nd Street) has closed a portion of the northbound lane for the time being. Southbound traffic is single lane to the Vernon Army Camp. Northbound traffic is being detoured around the spill. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Lumber spill impacts Vernon’s hospital hill traffic

Highway 97 northbound will remain closed until further notice as crews work to clear the lumber.

A portion of Highway 97 in Vernon on Hospital Hill remains closed after a motor vehicle incident involving a timber truck caused a spill of lumber into the northbound lane after motor vehicle incident took place on Highway 97 and 21st Ave, Vernon.

A single lane is open southbound and northbound traffic is being detoured via 18th Avenue to Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

On Wednesday, March 6, just before 9 a.m., Vernon RCMP responded to a motor vehicle incident where the driver of a semi-truck hauling a large load of lumber had to initiate his emergency breaking system, causing thousands of pounds of manufactured lumber to loosen and propel through the drivers cab.

Front line officers responded and learned the driver had to initiate his emergency breaks as a result of a small black vehicle allegedly cutting in front of the semi-truck at which time the car abruptly stopped for a pedestrian at the cross walk. This in turn caused the semi-truck to engage his emergency breaks as to avoid a two vehicle collision.

“The driver of the semi-truck was very fortunate to have sustained only minor injuries during this incident, given the amount of lumber that shifted and impaled the back of the drivers cab,” said Cst. Kelly Brett. “This serves as a very good reminder to motorists that large vehicles such as semi-trucks do not have the ability to stop as quickly as smaller vehicles, and cutting in front of such a vehicle can cause significant if not deadly injuries.”

Investigation into the incident revealed all safety requirements were met by the semi-truck and the cause of the incident was due to the sudden stop caused the other vehicle involved. The other vehicle did not remain on scene.

Highway 97 north bound will remain closed until further notice as crews work to clear the lumber from the truck so it can be towed from the scene. Traffic is being re-routed off highway 97 onto 18th Ave.

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