A two-vehicle crash has closed the Trans-Canada Highway in both directions at Goldstream Provincial Park. A small fuel truck is on its side and is leaking fuel. (Photo via @MoonWaterLodge)

Fuel truck crash closes B.C. highway, sends two to hospital

Trans-Canada Highway reopens to traffic early Friday morning

Two people have been injured in a rollover crash on the Malahat involving a fuel truck that has leaked an undetermined amount of fuel.

The Trans-Canada Highway was closed in both directions at Goldstream Provincial Park and reopened at roughly 12:40 a.m. Friday.

READ MORE: Malahat closure snarls traffic

“The cause of the collision is under investigation. The fuel spill is a risk for motorists and first responders, as well as a potential environmental hazard. We ask for patience from drivers who are affected by any delays as emergency crews deal with the closure of Highway 1,” said West Shore RCMP Cpl. Chris Dovell.

A small fuel truck and a passenger van crashed shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday near Finlayson Arm Road. The driver of the van was trapped inside after the crash and emergency crews were able to extricate the driver, who is suffering from non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the fuel truck also suffered some injuries in the crash.

B.C. Emergency Health Services confirmed paramedics have transported two patients to hospital. One is in serious condition, the other is in stable condition.

West Shore RCMP Const. Matt Baker noted the front driver side of the van suffered significant damage and the driver was critically injured but those injuries were not life threatening.

Emergency crews are on scene assessing the environmental impact of the fuel spill. The West Shore RCMP’s traffic services team is investigating the cause of the crash. B.C. Hazmat has also been called to the scene and B.C. Spill Response is also reporting crews on route.

Langford Fire Chief Chris Aubrey said the fuel truck was carrying up to 2,200 litres of furnace oil. While furnace oil and diesel from the truck’s fuel tank leaked onto the roadway, Aubrey was unable to confirm how much was spilled.

Aubrey is optimistic crews were able to contain the spill.

“We won’t know for sure until the vehicle is out of there,” he said. “At this point it looks like we were able to keep it contained and stopped it from leaking into the river … While it’s unfortunate there’s not a lot of alternate routes available, our number one priority is to get that road opened up as soon as we safely can do it.”

The RCMP confirmed at 3:30 p.m. that the area has been designated as a “hot zone” and the Trans-Canada is not expected to reopen before the Friday morning commute.

Back in 2011, a Victoria-bound fuel truck rolled and crashed into the rock face in roughly the same area of the Malahat. That truck spilled roughly 42,000 litres of gasoline and 700 litres of diesel into a culvert that emptied into the popular fish-bearing stream in Goldstream Provincial Park.

Finlayson Arm Road will remain open for emergency vehicles, local residents and non-commercial traffic. Vehicles will be guided by a pilot car in one direction at a time. No new traffic is being permitted to travel north via Finlayson Arm Road.

B.C. Ferries is also advising motorists that the ferry between Brentwood Bay and Mill Bay has now reached capacity for the next three sailings departing in both directions.

Additional staff have been called in and B.C. Ferries will be running three additional sailings to accommodate the traffic volume. They will be departing from Brentwood Bay at 7:30, 8:40 and 9:50 p.m. and from Mill Bay at 8:05, 9:15 and 10:25 p.m.

READ MORE: Sooke traffic slowed due to Malahat crash

Motorists can detour on the Pacific Circle Route through Port Renfrew and Sooke.

But traffic is moving slowly on Sooke Road as motorist try to take the Pacific Circle Route through Port Renfrew and Sooke as a detour.

As of early afternoon, Sooke RCMP had not received any reports of crashes, aside from an incident in Port Renfrew, but there were no injuries.

B.C. Transit is advising passengers planning to take the 66 Duncan Commuter or the 99 Shawnigan Lake Commuter that the buses will leave Victoria at their scheduled times and detour through Sooke and the Pacific Marine Circle route. If you have any questions, call 250-746-9899.

The Sooke School District is also warning parents and guardians that bus service is expected to be delayed this afternoon due to the heavy volume of traffic on the West Shore. The longest delays are expected for buses 4, 6 and 25.


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editor@goldstreamgazette.com

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