Two weeks after a large piece of road building equipment rolled down a low incline and into the outdoor inspection area of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) building at the Aldergrove crossing, the vehicle remained wedged against a crumpled support beam.
That’s because the nature of the malfunction that caused the crash was still under investigation, said BA Blacktop president and CEO Kim Percy, whose company owns and operates the Wirtgen paving machine.
“We’re in contact with the manufacturer,” Percy told the Aldergrove Star.
It appeared the operator of the machine did everything he was supposed to do, but was unable to prevent the vehicle from crashing, Percy related.
From losing control, to the collision, was about 10- to 15-seconds, Percy estimated.
“About a walking pace.”
Under standard safety protocols, the operator was tested for a possible concussion and was cleared, Percy added.
It happened on June 11 around noon, while Aldergrove resident Bob Farkas was in the Duty Free Shop.
“It was a massive machine, maybe 15-feet tall, that broke the big cement pillar right in half,” Farkas related.
“Driving home, I could see skid marks on the road all the way up to the customs office.”
The rubber-tired big rig gouged a path through a concrete curb and the paved customs building parking lot before crashing inside the sheltered area where arriving vehicles are sent when searches are ordered.
It also collided with a CBSA X-ray truck.
Langley RCMP Cpl. Kurt Neuman said two officers were deployed to the crash site and remained on scene for several hours.
Bystanders were removed from the crash site immediately.
A fence was erected around the scene of the collision, which buckled the roof and damaged a support pillar.
A plan to remove the machine has been developed by Al Quiring from Quiring Towing and Recovery, who expects it will happen sometime next week.
READ MORE: Border expansion underway in Aldergrove
Work has been underway on widening the road that leads to the crossing from the Canadian side from two lanes to five.
Both the federal and provincial governments have committed $25.5 million to widen Highway 13 southbound to accommodate future separate Nexus and commercial vehicle lanes and widening it northbound to facilitate a truck climbing lane.
During the summer months, approximately 6,000 vehicles use the route every day.
A $17.7-million upgrade and expansion to the Canadian customs buildings was done in 2015.
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