Driver lucky to be alive after spending hours in crashed truck

By Vanessa Ybarra
November 16, 2016 - 4:03pm

MERRITT — A young truck driver is in hospital after a dramatic crash Wednesday morning.

Merritt RCMP Constable Tracy Dunsmore says they received a call around 3:30 a.m. that a semi truck hauling lumber had flipped over into an embankment on Highway 5-A southbound just before Quilchena Ranch.

The crash knocked out a power pole cutting off power to over 800 Hydro customers in the Nicola Valley area.

With thick fog also in the area at the time, it's believed the truck may have gone unnoticed for several hours.

"We believe that the driver has been in there for about two hours prior to it being reported. It took another three or four hours before they were able to get him out of the vehicle " said Dunsmore.

Dunsmore said the 23-year-old male driver was air-lifted to hospital with serious but non life-threatening injuries.

Meanwhile VSA Highway Maintenance Crews and Merritt RCMP remained on scene for a period of time investigating the crash.

Alcohol has been ruled out but driver inexperience and poor visibility is being looked at as possible factors in the crash.

Highway 5A remains single-lane alternating traffic until at least tomorrow (November 17).

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